I’m incredibly honored to announce that Sourcebooks won the BISG Industry Innovation Award at the BISG Annual Meeting held today, September 30, 2016, which also happens to be Sourcebooks’ 29th birthday!
I’m sharing the acceptance speech I gave, below, because this award is not about me. It’s about each and every single person who walks through the door into our offices every morning, excited about what they will create that day. This is about our partners, and our authors, and the many readers whose lives we get to touch. It’s about what we’ve ALL created together.
We've done so much. We get to do more. Thank YOU for loving books and helping to create (each and every day) the future of this industry that we love so much.
BISG Industry Innovation Award – Acceptance Speech:
Last week as I was walking out of the office one night I started a list of the things that we were working on that looked like "new" to me. I came back the next morning, expanded that list of 6 to 14 and realized it touched every part of our organization. When I shared it with my team, they expanded it to 31 and at that point I realized that we were rethinking our business from the ground up.
Innovation is, I think, 3 things:
It is customer centric. Leaning into the customer experience, whether it's augmented reality, ya covers, Facebook conversions or personalized books.
And it is iterative. You try, learn, change, over and over. You start small, like that list I made. And you build from there.
And it is about mindset. Our industry is often thought to be the hallmark of stuck. Innovation is tough, it's expensive and on some days it's really embarrassing. But it's our mindset --the way we think about it -- that allows us to drive through and innovate.
When I look at us, the book industry, I see leaders. I see strivers. I see innovators.
I see an industry that's breaking the norms of what media transformation can and should look like. And people who daily do the work for the sheer excitement that books bring into people's lives.
Thank you so much for this honor, thank you to the whole BISG organization for the work you do, to the committee and working group members and chairs, to my many friends on the board, and to everyone here today for giving your time and effort to making our industry better. As members of BISG we are charged and trusted with setting standards for the industry. Let's continue to set a standard of innovation, of growth mindset, of reaching beyond what we are now and creating the future of book publishing. Thank you.
We are beyond excited to celebrate that This Is Where It Ends, after 24 weeks on the bestseller list, is now the #1 NEW YORK TIMES young adult hardcover bestseller!
The success of This Is Where It Ends is really kind of remarkable considering that the Marieke is Dutch, English is her second language, and she’s written a story about a high school shooting in an Alabama small town.
Nijkamp’s conversation with a friend about gun safety and school violence left her with so many questions that a story began to form in the back of her mind, and the voices of characters who wanted to tell their story. As a writer, this was something she had never quite experienced before.
“At first it felt incredibly intimating, and I felt completely unequipped to talk about it," says Nijkamp. "But I started working on the book because I was feeling confused and baffled by how often these situations happen and how horrendous they are. I wanted to explore that and find a way to better understand.”
And that’s what makes This Is Where It Ends special. Marieke captures the minds of teens experiencing a horrific situation, and has created a safe space in which teens and adults can discuss this extremely difficult subject that is unfortunately so much a part of their lives now. Marieke has met with over 25 teen book clubs over the past several months. We heard from one teacher that the book went through an entire group of students in four days, and from a librarian who, after having a number of students read it, had a line outside her office the next morning – they just had to talk about the book.
This is an important moment for young adult literature. It isn't every day that a young adult with queer girl main characters tops the New York Times list. It's been an incredible journey for Marieke and her debut novel, and we look forward to seeing how many more lives this amazing book touches. Thank you to all of you who made this possible.
And some of the happenings on Twitter:
Every year ReaderLink holds their annual meeting in the Chicagoland area and invites their partners to come in for two days of sharing great information and networking. For anyone not familiar, ReaderLink is the group that, among other things, supplies books to some of your favorite retailers like Walmart, Target, the wholesale clubs, grocery chains, and more. ReaderLink also hosts an awards ceremony where it presents awards to it's publishing partners.
This year the awards dinner was hosted by author and television personsonality Anderson Cooper and during the event Sourcebooks was honored to be presented with the Rising Star Award. Publisher and CEO Dominique Raccah accepted the award and gave the following speech:
"Thank you for recognizing our company with this exciting award. All of us at Sourcebooks put an immeasurable value on our business relationship with the staff and management at ReaderLink. There is no question that ReaderLink and the retailers you serve have played a key role in the growth of Sourcebooks during our 27 year history, a simple truth that no doubt applies to every publisher in the room tonight. We are very grateful for the opportunity and the support ReaderLink has given our titles over the years. And nowhere is that more evident than in our news tonight that with the success you’ve helped us create, This is Where it Ends, our brilliant young adult novel is today a #1 New York Times bestseller. 25 weeks on the list. Thank YOU!!! Thank you!! Thank YOU!! Each and every one of you.
Our thanks as well to the many special individuals at Readerlink that have given guidance, advice, feedback and direction to us as our publishing program has grown. John Norris and his team have been instrumental in how we have shaped our children’s publishing program. Our romance line has grown dramatically with the support and insights of Cathy Cadek. Sourcebooks YA and Adult imprints continue to see terrific growth as well and we are grateful for the support of Donna’s wonderful staff. Our thanks as well to the critical ReaderLink teams in California, and Bentonville.
We are well aware of the complexity and thousands of moving parts and people it takes to do what you do at ReaderLink on behalf of your retailers, your suppliers and the millions of readers they serve. We are in awe and excited to be a part of it all with you."
Thank you to everyone at ReaderLink for your partnership, and for honoring our team with the Rising Star Award!
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