I am a senior client manager and content consultant with more than 20 years in the book publishing industry. Together with my partner, Sally Reier, I help authors, experts, and other content creators develop winning promotion strategies. I build websites and landing pages, write copy, develop book covers, plan and execute speaking tours and earned media campaigns, develop social media and digital advertising strategies, and help authors refine their messaging.
As a senior client manager, I work on a day-to-day basis with Watkins Media, LTD, a UK-based book publisher that specializes in personal development, social science, and science fiction/fantasy titles. For them, I oversee all sales, business development, marketing, and publicity for the 80+ books they publish in the US and Canada each year. I also created and run the B2B website WatkinsUSA. Watkins is distributed to the trade by Penguin Random House Publisher Services.
Work highlights and accomplishments
Between 2016 and 2017 I increased annual revenues at Watkins by 11% by repackaging a number of languishing titles. One in particular, The Secret Language of Astrology, has gone on to sell 4,000 copies through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and independent bookstores, and another 12,000 copies through bargain book traders.
As part of an assignment for McGraw Hill, I had the opportunity to help former McKinsey Director and leadership expert, Joanna Barsh, develop a new website and hone the pitching strategy for her new book, Grow Wherever You Work. I created a segmentation plan for each of the different audiences the book addresses and crafted pitches. I also secured a plumb interview for her on Sirius XM’s Wharton Business School radio show.
Executive coach and spiritual director extraordinaire, Ruth Roemer, hired me and Sally to create a new website for her business www.possibilitiesunlimited.us. This project involved an A-Z revisioning of the site: a fresh strategy, a new sitemap, and new descriptions for each of her offerings. We also produced two videos to showcase Ruth’s personality and coaching philosophy, and helped her get a blog off the ground.
For 18 months, I worked with independent publisher, Aquila Polonica, on marketing strategies, sales force development, and external communications. Aquila’s mission is to bring dramatic stories of Poland in World War Two to an English-speaking audience. During my tenure with them, I consulted on the launch of a book of poems written by the survivor of Nazi internment camps whose family later became refugees in Chicago. For that project, I consulted on the book’s title, interviewed the author, wrote a press release, pitched the media, and helped another consultant produce an author tour.
I was retained by a fashion journalist from Europe to help her connect with U.S. publishers. She had a proposal for a book on “circular fashion” - green innovations in the fashion industry. I secured meetings for her with a U.S. literary agent and a top fashion book publisher. I also edited her proposal documents.
In 2015, I was brought on board by the principal of a VC-backed startup called Serial Box to consult on a go-to-market strategy. Serial Box is the “HBO for ebooks” - episodic stories (mostly sci fi and fantasy) in digital formats. I developed a growth hacking plan involving content marketing, YouTube trailers, social media, and external communications.
An author I had worked with more than ten years previously, Jim Conlon, contacted me for help with publishing his new manuscript. Working together with an editor based in Berkeley, California, we’ve now published three books. This project is very meaningful to me. Jim is an 85-year old social justice activist and poet who has devoted his life to bringing sanity to society. For many years he was the director of the forward-thinking graduate program at Holy Names University in Berkeley, The Sophia Institute, which was founded by the radical priest, Matthew Fox. You can learn more about Jim at www.jimconlon.net.
A recruiter connected me with an Upstate New York health supplement distributor during a change of ownership. The previous owner had seen the company delisted from Google due to black hat AdWords practices. I consulted with the new owner on white hat techniques and produced a revised and updated book with a fresh new cover for them. That project included working with a designer and a photographer to manage a photoshoot with the author. I was also a lead advisor on a new visual and content strategy for their website and oversaw the creation of a new company logo.
For several years, I have been in conversation with Jim Keen, Ph.D., founder of the New Jersey Governor’s School for Public Issues and an executive coach. I first met Jim as a Governor’s School scholar in 1988. Jim is the co-author of the influential book, Common Fire, which takes an in-depth look at the nature of enduring commitments to the common good. Jim is also the co-author of a book called Leadership Landscapes, which embodies his coaching philosophy. Jim and I are collaborating on a project called “The Complexity Oracle,” a decision making application similar to a mind map, which helps the user simplify complex problems, or as Jim likes to call them, “problematiques.” You can watch a video I recorded of Jim explaining The Complexity Oracle on youtube.
I have been in conversation with futurist, novelist, and social commentator, Kingsley L. Dennis, since mid-2013. I met Kingsley shortly after joining Watkins Publishing. Kingsley’s book, New Revolutions for a Small Planet, which had been published by Watkins the previous Fall, called out to me. I reached out to him and we began to meet regularly to discuss what many are calling “the planetary shift.” We’re particularly interested in the new currents affecting the media landscape. You can listen to one of our conversations on youtube.