Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Future of Publishing

Dear Readers,

As you may know, I have a book contract with HarperCollins experimental imprint, Harper Studio. I signed the deal over the Holiday season and began writing The Savvy Auntie Guide to Life soon after.

You may have heard the news today that the publisher of the imprint, Bob Miller, has left HarperCollins and Harper Studio. My book is still in contract and there is no doubt that it will be published as scheduled.

The news however gives me the opportunity to talk about Debbie Stier, SVP and Associate Publisher at Harper Studio. Debbie and I met on Twitter, having heard about each other from mutual social media industry friends. I think we bonded over the amazing kids from Tanzania on Twitter. Within days of our first tweet, I was having lunch in Debbie's midtown office and after about an hour, we decided on our book.

It's our book indeed. Debbie has been mentoring me, guiding me and inspiring me since the day we met. While I am relatively new to the publishing industry, I am confident that I have partnered with the best possible publisher for my brand and more importantly for my audience - you dear readers.

The publishing industry -- like many industries housed in spectacular buildings stacked next to each other row by row in New York City -- is very set in its ways. And like most industries, publishers have been challenged by fast moving digital media technologies. And many folks who were just about born into the publishing industry have to ramp up quickly to these new technologies and work with the significant changes they bring about.
And for many, my guess is that those changes are hard. After all, after years of working in publishing, there are few major surprises. The new media age is changing the publishing industry forever. It's not just a surprise; for many its a shocking shift.

I am confident that Debbie Stier is - if not the most - certainly one of the most capable of not only coping with the shifts in strategy, but actually being on the front lines of what those new strategies should be. I have no doubt that today it takes someone with a true entrepreneurial heart to take full advantage of new digital landscape - and Debbie is that person.

Debbie is present and presents at digital and social media events and conferences all over the country. She's highly active in social media. She consumes new technology like most New Yorkers drink coffee. She's inspired by movers and shakers. She's motivated by motivated people. She's actually passionate about the changes in the industry. Harper Studio may stay the same. It may ride the new waves as they come about. It will always be modernizing, taking risks and being what it was designed to be: an experiment in new publishing.

No one is sure what the future holds for Harper Studio right now. But I have no doubt that Debbie is the future of publishing.

Dear readers, our book is in the best hands in publishing. But who else would I dare share you with?

Auntie Melanie