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Sourcebooks NEXT.

Sourcebooks Next Blog

We’re at a historic point in the transformation the book.

Ebooks, reading devices, retailers and e-tailers, software and apps, and all the cool things we haven’t even imagined yet are changing the face of reading, entertainment and learning. Sourcebooks Next is our blog looking not from the perspective of pundit or prognosticator, but from the perspective of a publisher deeply engaged in the workings of the transformation. Please feel free to join us.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Sourcebooks Founder and CEO Dominique Raccah Receives the Chicago Book Clinic’s Sue Nisson Distinguished Service Award

(Chicago-May 14, 2010) – Sourcebooks Founder and CEO Dominique Raccah is the 2010 recipient of the Sue Nisson Distinguished Service Award, which is the Chicago Book Clinic’s highest award. Previous winners include prize-winning author and radio personality Studs Terkel, renowned poet Gwendolyn Brooks, legendary bookseller Carl Kroch, and award-winning newspaper columnist Bob Greene. The award was presented during the organization’s President’s Night on May 13 at Rosewood Banquets in Rosemont, IL.

President Elect of the Chicago Book Clinic Eric Platou says the Sue Nisson Distinguished Service Award recognizes an individual who has been successful in the publishing industry, but more importantly, has shown a new path and willingness to share their success and knowledge with others. “The success of Sourcebooks alone has shown that Dominique has not only understood how to compete in the publishing industry, but also how to pursue the changes and challenges our industry faces,” Platou said. “Dominique’s willingness to discuss and share these strategies with other publishers and professionals in our industry so that they too have the opportunity to pursue similar successful outcomes makes her a perfect choice for the Sue Nisson Distinguished Service Award.”

“I am honored to accept the Sue Nisson Distinguished Service Award for the collaborative nature it represents” said Dominique Raccah. “My philosophy has always been that Sourcebooks publishes authors, not books, and I am excited about creating the next page in publishing’s history – the digital transformation of the book.”

For more information, visit http://chicagobookclinic.org/.


About Sue Nisson

Susan Nisson previously worked at Scott Foresman, currently known as Pearson. During her time there, she steered many dynamic changes with diligent work, dedication and commitment. Her unique vision on the industry and the idea that vendors should have a partnership-type relationship complete with workable solutions void of battles led many to seek out and trust her views and opinions.

Sue also encountered various male-related work environment issues and was on the forefront of change during those challenging times. With her open door policy, she became a valuable resource for the Chicago Book Clinic, welcoming industry-related discussions.

After passing away at an early age due to cancer, the CBC decided to rename their service award as the Sue Nisson Distinguished Service Award in her honor. The award recognizes industries and companies who have challenged and persevered in their journey to success.


About Chicago Book Clinic

Founded in 1936, the Chicago Book Clinic encourages excellence in publishing by providing a platform for educational, social & professional interaction of our members. Our members are professionals in book and media publishing, printing, editorial, design, and all business aspects of our industry.


About Sourcebooks

Sourcebooks is a forward-thinking, independent publishing house with a passion for books and a dedication to the belief that books change lives. We are committed to innovative publishing, where every book is personal and every author’s voice has a place. We are a group of passionate, energetic and enthusiastic book lovers, and we are committed to helping readers experience each book. Sourcebooks has over 70 employees, publishes over 300 new titles each year, and celebrates their success with 14 New York Times Bestsellers. Sourcebooks is proud to be a leading publisher of poetry, as well as the largest woman-owned book publisher in the country. Visit www.sourcebooks.com for more information, and check out the Sourcebooks blog.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Dominique Raccah, Publisher and CEO of Sourcebooks, Inc., to present at IBPA's Publishing University on May 24-25-the only educational conference created BY publishers FOR publishers.

Dominique Raccah will be one of the industry experts slated to appear at IBPA's Publishing University, now in its third decade of offering the best in publishing education. Speaking in the session entitled "Ahead of the Curve: Meet Sourcebooks' Dominique Raccah," Raccah will be sharing the nuts and bolts of Sourcebooks' vision as well as her venture into the digital arena with attendees.

Join Raccah along with mega marketer and best-selling author Seth Godin, PW's Fast Growing Indies roundtable, and enjoy more than 20 breakout sessions, general sessions and the Benjamin Franklin Awards Gala at IBPA's Publishing University in New York City on May 24-25. See www.thepublishinguniversity.com for details and register now for early bird pricing. See you at the U!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Sourcebooks CEO Dominique Raccah is featured in a New York Times article discussing the release of e-books.

The coverage follows the decision to delay the e-book release of Sourcebooks' fall juvenile fiction/middle grade release Bran Hambric: The Farfield Curse by Kaleb Nation announced this week via an article in The Wall Street Journal.

Monday, June 22, 2009

I spend my days steeped in rights, royalties and the contracts that govern them, and this much is clear: publishers must plan new approaches to rights or risk future viability. Regardless of how the courts or the Justice Department treat the Google Book Settlement, the Book Rights Registry (BRR) will exist in some form; the industry needs it for the widest possible dissemination of content. A registry combined with clear and streamlined rights agreements would help publishers keep pace with content delivery innovations.

Following a BEA panel on the settlement that my company, MetaComet, hosted, my colleagues and I surveyed some industry leaders on the subject. "We've got to make it easy for people to find who is the appropriate rights holder.... Right now, that is a complexity that is unnecessary in our business," said Dominique Raccah, publisher and CEO of Sourcebooks Inc.

"We want to ensure that authors reach readers in the broadest possible way," via iPhone apps, music video, "or something we can't envision now." A registry and simplicity in rights agreements would help accomplish that.

One option to facilitate this: have authors give a publisher all rights to a work, but for a limited time, such as three years. "Because everything moves so fast, it ought to be quite clear in three years if a publisher exploited each right," Richard Nash, formerly publisher of Soft Skull Press and now a consultant, told me over coffee earlier this month. Nash hopes to implement this idea in a new publishing venture he is working on. He thinks this structure would facilitate business partnerships between authors and publishers, and would provide authors with one partner who orchestrates the entire campaign. It could also benefit agents, because they could spend less time shopping around smaller "chunks" of content.

Will authors and agents stand for such innovation and out-of-the-box thinking? Conversations with the Authors Guild made it clear the challenging environment has made authors more open to new ideas of partnerships. Giving up rights for a shorter duration is "interesting.... I wouldn't rule it out, but the devil is always in the details," Paul Aiken, executive director of the Authors Guild, said to my COO recently.

At the very least, authors are much more open to the idea of a business partnership with publishers than in the past. "There used to be much more of an adversarial relationship between author and publisher than there is now," Aiken said, "probably because... these are challenging times economically, and with the changing technology, authors and publishers are in this together."

While Raccah loves Nash's idea, she recognizes implementation might be tough, but she has pushed the partnership angle. When a new idea arises-such as an iPhone app-she makes an addendum to the existing contract. Still, an innovation such as the trade-off of rights for duration would be good for publishers and authors, both because of the simplicity and because "it's incumbent on publishers to prove that they are actually" benefiting authors and their works.

Agents also might be open to such innovation, given the changing marketplace. In fact, they might have little choice, according to literary agent Richard Curtis, who owns the publishing company E-Reads. He first schooled me in rights and royalties nearly 10 years ago. "Right now, authors are so desperate that if a publisher asks for all rights, an author will give it," Curtis said. "Even with powerful agents, 99% of the time, they will just throw in the digital rights, because they have nowhere to go with them."

Publishers and authors must recognize that content has a limitless array of uses-uses as incalculable today as e-commerce was 15 years ago. There must be a very clear delineation of rights, and the simpler that delineation is, the better. If publishers, agents or authors start breaking out translation rights, serial rights, foreign rights, etc., they make it more difficult to make content accessible, and therefore monetizable, through an organization such as the BRR.

Publishers need to bring authors in on these discussions and educate them on the details, so that they realize the benefits of simplified contracts. In fact, it could be that the best way to accomplish this would be for publishers to work with authors to develop rights standards through an organization like the Book Industry Study Group.

The key to future publishing success will be a change in attitude that simplified contracts and the BRR represent: publishers and authors are business partners and must act as such.

Soapbox: The Rights Thing
Why the Book Rights Registry is necessary
by David Marlin -- Publishers Weekly, 6/22/2009

Page 16 of 18


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