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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, 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!   

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Ravina Thakkar has accomplished more than many of us will in her 14 years. The bravery, maturity, and pure delight we saw this past Sunday as she stood in front of a crowd of family and friends (some old and many new!) at Anderson’s Bookshop in Naperville to read her debut book, The Adventure of a Lifetime, was incredible. 

More than two and a half years ago, we were approached with Ravina’s dream by her Make-A-Wish “wish grantors.” Ravina, then 11, wanted the story she was working on to be published, and we accepted sight unseen. Our already high enthusiasm quickly doubled when we saw this was no mere rough short story, but a full-fledged 20,000+ word manuscript for a young middle-grade book. After rounds of edits, revisions, and all the work it takes to get a book ready to publish – all fit into the schedule of a busy young girl – The Adventure of a Lifetime released to bookstores and libraries nationwide last week, in both print and ebook formats. 

All of us at Sourcebooks are so thankful that we were able to work with and be inspired by such an ambitious young woman. Ravina has not let Cystic Fibrosis take over her life—she can, and will keep pushing for and pursuing her dreams. 

We hope you will check out The Adventure of a Lifetime; a reminder that reading and books really do change lives. Every year on December 3 (which was proclaimed Ravina Thakkar Day in Plainfield, IL, by Mayor Michael Collins), we will remember that with passion and hard work, dreams really can, and do, come true. 

Link to NCTV17 Story:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=afZ-t0cpDJw&sns=tw

Link to Ravina’s story on the Make-A-Wish ® Illinois homepage: http://illinois.wish.org/wishes/wish-stories/to-be/ravina_published_author

Link the Herald News’ article: http://heraldnews.suntimes.com/lifestyles/24211507-423/teen-author-helps-grant-her-own-wish.html

Link to the Daily Herald article: http://heraldnews.suntimes.com/lifestyles/24211507-423/teen-author-helps-grant-her-own-wish.html

A big THANK YOU to our team for embracing this unique and rewarding project, our business partners and friends who contributed their talents, the amazing group at Anderson’s for hosting her launch event, and the team at Make-A-Wish for making a difference each and every day. And we especially thank Ravina and her family for making us a little part of their warm and inspiring lives.

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