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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.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

This morning Dominique was part of a panel that opened Book Expo America 2015, talking about the digital transformation and how the data that comes with that change can help drive innovation. The impressive lineup of panelists included:

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Scott Galloway, Founder & Chairman of L2, Joanna Stone Herman, Moderator, Co-Founder and CEO of Librify, Dominique Raccah, Publisher and CEO of Sourcebooks, Gareth Cuddy, Founder and CEO of Vearsa, Bethlam Forsa, President of Pearson Learning Services, and Trip Adler, CEO & Co-Founder of Scribd.

Professor Galloway kicked off the event with a 15-minute roller-coaster ride of information about the future of digital. A couple of interesting predictions from him:

In retail

  • Amazon is going to decline
  • Pure play eCommerce is not going to work anymore
  • Retailers are going to be regrowing
  • The future of retail looks more like Macy’s

Social Media

  • Facebook did a bait and switch with their community and advertisers and they are winning the war of content and audience
  • Facebook is likely to disrupt YouTube


  • Apple is the best luxury brand right now
  • If you want to learn about retail and global management, watch what luxury brands do

You can actually see a version of the talk that Professor Galloway did earlier here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XCvwCcEP74Q

From there the panel discussed data. Our conversation ranged over the power of data and how it’s being used in various publishing businesses today, some of the limitations of the data available to us now, the biggest innovations happening across the industry and how our industry compares to others, as well as conversation and predictions around the next 5 years of the book publishing business.

The panel was filmed by CSPAN and we will update with a link to the video as soon as it becomes available.


Friday, February 13, 2015

 This week I had the privilege of meeting academics, authors, publishing folk, and of course readers of romance at What Is Love? Romance Fiction In The Digital Age, hosted by the Library of Congress and the Popular Romance Project. If you’ve never been there, the Library of Congress is beautiful, truly a monument to books. I have included some photos here.

Library of CongressThere were a lot of fascinating conversations taking place, both in the building an online. There were discussions on the romance canon, the romance community, and the timeline of romance from the science and history of love to where romance fiction is headed in the future.  The panels were lively and sparked great discussions. I got the opportunity to hear and meet people I hadn’t before, including Eloisa James, whose poetry roots rock, and Beverly Jenkins, certainly a force to be reckoned with!

The conversation was online as well using the hashtag #poprom on Twitter. To get the full Twitter conversation, check out the compilation that Kiersten Krum put together on Storify, you’ll get a sense of the conversations we had and some of the best quotes from the day.

Panel discussion at What is Love?I had the opportunity to give a talk at the conference on the Transformation of the Book (you can check it out on Slideshare here). One of the things that I’ve found really interesting about the digital transformation of the book is how fundamentally different it is from other media transformations. And part of that is due to heavy romance readers, who were early adopters of ebooks and ereading devices. That’s right, the romance reader has had a significant impact on the shape of the transformation of the book and they continue to do so. In 2010 romance books were about 19% of all ebook sales, and today they are about 24% — a bigger piece of a bigger pie.*

When ebooks first started to take off, there was a lot of talk and a lot of concern that ebooks would “kill print.” You can see from the data that ebooks are by no means killing print; in fact, print books are still 77% of the book sales market.** There is more in the deck.

John Cole, Director of the Center for the Book, speaks at What is Love?

And of course there was a sneak preview of Love Between the Covers, a documentary about romance books and the romance community. Even more fun is that Love Between the Covers features our very own romance cover designer Dawn Adams and our Editorial Director Deb Werksman, both doing what they do best! You can see some clips from the film at popularromanceproject.org (and yes, I’m in the film too).

I can’t thank the Library of Congress, the Center for the Book, and the Popular Romance Project enough for giving me the opportunity to participate in such a dynamic and interesting conference. I think John Cole, the Director, Center for the Book at the Library of Congress has it exactly right when he said that romance fiction is “one of our culture’s most popular yet least appreciate or understood genres.”


*Nielsen, 2015

**from the Book Industry Study Group 2014 Annual Report




Friday, November 07, 2014

Friday, our friends at TedXNaperville hosted an Adventure at Sourcebooks. The theme of this year’s TedXNaperville was The Tipping Point. We are obviously part of an industry undergoing transformation and so were excited to be part of this event.

Our Editorial team talked about the publishing process: who does what at a publishing house, how retail works, how marketing and publicity work. Lots of specific information and loads of questions!! 

I talked about the different kinds of impact that digital has had on book publishing. Here's some of what we talked about:

1. The ebook transformation
* who is the ebook customer?
* are print books dead or dying?
2. How book retailing is changing
3. Different authors’ career paths
4. Authors and publishers creating new revenue streams together
You can see my presentation entitled: The Book in Transformation: A Publisher Vision for the Future on Slideshare: TEDxNaperville Visits Sourcebooks from Dominique Raccah

The TedXNaperville lineup of speakers is here: http://www.tedxnaperville.com/current-conference/

Some of the the ideas shared at TedXNaperville were livestreamed and can be seen here: http://new.livestream.com/tedx/tedxnaperville2014

Hope you enjoy!


Tuesday, October 07, 2014

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September 30th was Sourcebooks' 27th birthday.

As our team of more than 115 book-loving colleagues gathered to celebrate, I talked a little bit about that first day 27 years ago. The truth is that the day I started Sourcebooks was one of the loneliest days of my life. I walked into an empty bedroom with a desk, a phone, and a Mac. Like a lot of entrepreneurs, I thought it would be easy. It wasn’t.

1987 was the birth of the desktop publishing revolution, tens of thousands of other publishers started that year. Today, Sourcebooks is one of just a few publishers from that frenzy of startups that still exists. We started as part of one revolution, and it’s inspiring that today we are part of another.

In some ways, the book publishing industry is really beginning anew today, while building on the incredible work that’s come before. There are so many ways to explore and rethink how we work together and connect authors to readers. I believe that today there is far more opportunity for Sourcebooks than there was all those years ago. It is very much Day One.

So on this occasion I’d like to take time to give thanks. There’s so much more we want to do, and it would not be possible without all of you.

  • To our amazing authors for all their life-changing books. You inspire me every day and we’re proud to be beside you bringing your work to so many readers.
  • To all our business partners: booksellers, librarians, agents, media, retailers, wholesalers, distributors, and so many more...it’s great to have you as co-revolutionaries on this journey!
  • To the friends who offer us advice, counsel, and feedback, whether it’s positive or negative. We can’t build the future without you.
  • To the people of Sourcebooks, who creatively and joyfully do the hard work on behalf of our authors and business partners.
  • To readers everywhere. It’s our mission for there to be many more of you!

We had a surprise birthday party that filled up a BIG room. What a difference 27 years makes! At the party, we had (yes, it's Sourcebooks) a poetry contest!! Sixteen poems, quite a few haikus (some taking creative liberties with the 5-7-5 rule), and one rap were written by and presented by members of the Sourcebooks family. The poems highlighted our past, our genres and authors, and our extraordinary growth, all while looking towards an incredible future.


(Brought to you by Phil Norton, Sharon Schmid, Tina Silva, Kelly Lawler, Kelsey Kulp, Agnes Godziszewski, Steve Geck, and Jean Johnson)


It started out, what a thrill
A small bedroom in Naperville
A mind, a computer, and a phone
Our publisher was so alone

Finance was all we had from the start
Now there's romance, YA, history, and art
So many new genres in which to immerse
Regional, entertainment, and ecommerce

From one to a hundred
The family has grown
More friends each year
Than we could ever have known

It has been a great twenty-seven years
Filled with joy, laughter, and even tears
But the company has just begun
So welcome, all, to Day One

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