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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.

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

IMG 2712

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

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Here at Sourcebooks, the week has been filled with cheer for so many reasons. Everyone has had the opportunity to get together and spend time celebrating one of the most groundbreaking years in our history!Reading Santa is Coming to My House Put Me In The Story

One of our favorite projects this year is Put Me In The Story. Lots has been accomplished. Last week, we launched the universal version of our Put Me In The Story(R) app, which means our personalized stories can now be read and shared on iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad devices.

We're also trying something else new…now you have the ability to record your child’s name to be read aloud with the narration throughout the story. So not only does the text change in the book but when the audio reads back to you, your recording of the child's name will be embedded in the read along (in your voice) along with the rest of the story. This was the enhancement that users most wanted and is another of our experiments. If you try it we'd love to hear what you think.

With the Put Me In The Story app, our hope is that kids and parents will connect to books in new ways. The personalized experience enables you to make your child the star of bestselling children’s books by including her name and photo, and now your recording of their name. You can choose from children’s stories like Sesame Street favorite Elmo Loves You! or New York Times bestselling My Name Is Not Isabella. When you download the app, you’ll get Marianne Richmond’s adorable bedtime story, The Night Night Book, for free.

Put Me In The Story Santa Is Coming To My HouseAnd right now, just in time for the holidays, Santa is flying through Put Me In The Story and we've put our Santa is Coming to My House book on sale. (Feel free to check it out!)

We built the Put Me In The Story app to enhance the experience of sharing books with children. It's been an amazing learning experience throughout this year as we've built new features and worked with new partners. We know there's lots more to do, but our goal is to create a great experience that will help to create and support a lifelong love of reading.

It's been an incredible year! Thank you for your help and thoughtfulness. I look forward to more ways for us to share books with children together!   

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