Leadership Strategies in Book Publishing
2016 Detailed Program
July 31-August 5, 2016

YPC's thought-provoking curriculum dives deeply into the industry's most pressing challenges and opportunities to help you plan for a successful future in both print and digital publishing. You'll engage directly with speakers and a diverse group of peers, both inside the classroom and in small discussion groups, meals, breaks, and receptions, allowing you to form invaluable professional and personal connections.

To view faculty biographies, click here.

Robert Baensch

Financial Realities in Book Publishing

Financial planning, budgeting and forecasting in the new arena of print and digital or e-book publishing is essential during this period of change. The transition from print to digital – or the combination of print and digital – has multiple participants with different roles and responsibilities across departments and functions. There are more variables with new developmental and operating costs generating a wide range of income sources. Financial management is now the responsibility of every function in book and online publishing. Baensch presents the basic P&L for book publishing and new factors that shape the P&L for e-book content development, online marketing, digital distribution and different income sources. Examples of established companies and start-up business units provide practical tools for the profitable financial management of your business.

Neil De Young

Content Development is the Wild Wild West

Developing optimized digital reading experiences and business models requires agile development, collaboration between departments, a willingness to except failure, and a plan to promote the unfamiliar.  In short, trade publishers need to inject just the right amount of start-up DNA into their content development process.  This lecture will discuss ways to do that.

Integrated Marketing Workshop

In this interactive session, a team from Random House will discuss the ever-changing role of the marketing department in a publishing house and how marketers work collaboratively with each other, editors, and authors to create innovative campaigns and effective author platforms. The practical takeaways offered can be applied by publishers of all sizes and types of publications.

Creating an Integrated Marketing Plan: An Overview of Marketing Components and Resource Allocation



Cross-departmental Collaboration
The Making of a Bestseller

Publishers typically strive to transform an in-house favorite author and manuscript into a bestseller. Doing so requires editors and marketers to collaborate in multiple ways – from the editing process, to the jacket design, to the marketing rollout. Using a real-world case study, Kara Cesare and Kristin Fassler demonstrate how they launched a debut novelist onto the New York Times bestseller list.


Creating an Integrated Marketing Plan

Leigh Marchant takes you through a step-by-step demonstration of the execution of an integrated marketing campaign for both fiction and non-fiction titles, including advertising, promotions, video, and analytics, and provides practical tips on how to involve the author in establishing a unique brand identity. She also covers prioritization of titles, budgeting, resource allocation, and the increasing importance of utilizing consumer insights to reach and grow the author’s readership.


Leveraging Your Data

Leslie Prives shows how to use analytics to inform marketing and publicity campaigns, help in the acquisition process, and optimize digital channels for performance and learning. She also discusses a variety of tools that are available to everyone and offers tips on how to interpret the data that you accumulate. She will lead you through a hands-on exercise in which you will have the opportunity to work with data and create a marketing campaign.



Rebranding ABRAMS: Another Step in the Evolution of the Company

Earlier this year, ABRAMS, the pre-eminent publisher of illustrated books in America since 1949,  unveiled newly designed logos, a mobile friendly website, and prominent category campaigns, all with bold color design elements that reflect what ABRAMS does best: creating and distributing brilliantly designed books. And though ABRAMS' mission and profile have broadened beyond the conventional definition of art, art still remains in their DNA and informs how they approach publishing, and the company's identity. John Gall,Creative Director of ABRAMS who conceived and designed the new look for ABRAMS,  along with Michael Jacobs, President and CEO will speak about how a company with a long tradition continues to evolve its brand.

George Gibson
Publishing Director, Bloomsbury Publishing

Dealing with Today’s Greatest Publishing Challenges

In a candid conversation, a major global publisher first discusses a few of the challenges he and the industry are facing, domestically and around the world, and how he addresses them, and then asks the class to voice their own challenges and strategies. Come prepared to share.

Nigel Holmes
Principal, Explanation Graphics

Visual Thinking

Do you think in words or pictures? Why not try both? In this presentation you’ll experience words, pictures, and music mixed together in interesting ways. Among other diversions: listen to Mozart’s dreadful mistake with the latest technology of his time, and try it for yourself. Consider the difference between large, very large, and unbelievably large numbers; then very small (and really small) numbers, and what they have to do with your jobs. Consider the power of humor and simplicity. It’s going to be serious fun. And please bring a wineglass with you to the talk (with wine, or whatever other drink you choose, still—at least half filled—in it).

Rick Joyce
Former Chief Marketing Officer, Perseus Books Group

Media 2020
What will the media business look like in five years?

The last ten years have seen massive changes in what used to be called the Media Business. The next five years promise to be no less momentous. Boundaries, definitions, economics and operations of old-line, format-defined media are blurring dramatically. We will focus on the significant trends and implications of these shifts over the next five years. What do Amazon, Google, Facebook, and Apple have in store for us, and how is it likely to change both business and the consumer experience? Does Amazon open hundreds (or thousands) of stores, or do they get drone delivery off the ground? Do Google and Facebook, and programmatic ad-buying continue to radically reshape the economics of the ad-supported media that have been crucial to publicizing books for decades? What does the next wave look like for social media, or for wearables? Is there a content layer to the Internet of Things? What are the implications for book publishing, book marketing & publicity, book anything?

Christopher Kenneally
Director, Business Development, Copyright Clearance Center

The Future of Copyright, or, Does Copyright Have a Future?

Publishing today depends on technology, and technology is pressing copyright in ways never imagined in the days of printing presses. Copyright holders in the Digital Age are under challenge not only from wide-ranging infringement but also so-called “reform.” The vital role copyright plays in the new “information economy” is widely recognized, yet nearly every month another government launches a review of its intellectual property framework or announces new measures to deal with “the copyright problem.” In a worldwide review of “the state of copyright,” including controversial copyright-related judgments that have come out of U.S. courts, as well as legislation and legal action around the globe – from India to Canada, Australia to Germany, and beyond – Copyright Clearance Center’s Christopher Kenneally will lay out details of the disruption underway and outline how publishers have become adept at managing the disruption by harnessing market-driven forces.

Marcus Leaver
Chief Executive Officer, The Quarto Group Inc.

Illustrating Transformation at Quarto
A Global Publishing Company for the 21st Century

In a presentation based on real-world examples, the CEO of Quarto discusses how to do business worldwide in the shifting landscape of 21st century publishing. Leaver explains how Quarto has transformed its marketing and sales operations and made strategic acquisitions in the last few years.

Nihar Malaviya
EVP and Chief Operating Officer, Penguin Random House USA

Publishing Today and Tomorrow
What does the digital revolution portend for publishers?

Reflecting on what has changed - and what has remained constant - in the publishing industry, the architect of Penguin Random House’s digital strategy explores the impact of the digital revolution on all aspects of publishing – from product development and pricing to marketing and editorial. Nihar Malaviya lays out a plan of action for publishers large and small to follow in order to be successful in the rapidly-changing global marketplace.

Liisa McCloy-Kelley
Vice President and Director, eBook Development & Innovation, Penguin Random House

Bridging the Gaps between Physical and Digital Books
Rethinking your Organization and Workflow Strategy

As the publishing landscape and the new business for digital products have evolved over the last several years, the only things that have become certain for publishers are that change is inevitable and that books are not progressing in the same patterns we’ve seen in other media.  We are heading into a future where the approaches you take to how you organize your teams and address workflows for physical and digital books should be driven as much by the culture of your organization as by the balance of physical and digital products you will need for the marketplace.  With case studies and interactive exercises, we’ll help you think more strategically about where to focus your efforts and teams and how to think about “innovation” for both products and processes. 

Kirsty Melville
President and Publisher, Andrews McMeel Universal

Questioning the Basics
A niche publisher’s perspective on embracing change

A hands-on niche publisher’s candid perspective on how she has adapted to the issues and challenges she and her staff face in a constantly evolving print and digital marketplace. From content strategy to new business approaches, this presentation will explore the core issues facing publishers trying to rethink the contours of their business.

Gregory Miller
Managing Director, Greenhill & Co.

A Wall Street Perspective on the Publishing Industry

Investment banker Gregory Miller discusses the strategic and financial implications of the trends that are defining today’s global publishing industry. He shares his perspectives on some of the major industry participants and their strategies in today’s marketplace, and addresses the position of publishers in the broader media and technology universe, including the business and consumer impact of such players as Amazon, Google, and Facebook. Miller also explains how publishing companies are valued, through a review of some of the deals that are shaping – and shifting – the industry landscape. He speculates on key drivers of success and future growth opportunities for publishers of all sizes.

Craig Mod
Advisor and Contributor, Medium; Publishing startup advisor and investor; former Designer, Flipboard; Writer

Pushing Boundaries
What is a “book?”

Digital has largely stabilized (Kindle, the monopoly) and we can see that print is not disappearing anytime soon. With fewer question marks, how can we begin to think more creatively about leveraging the qualities of print and digital to create uniquely special books? How can we use high-quality Print on Demand for quick turn-arounds and media blitzes? Craig Mod looks at a handful of projects pushing the boundaries of the definition of “book” and talks through how you can apply these creative angles to your own publications. 

Ed Nawotka

Cultural Darwinism
Digitization and the future of the global book business

In our digital age — one dominated by snippets, social media, and literary white noise — how is the international book business evolving to meet the demands of the 21st century reader and consumer? Leading book publishing authority Ed Nawotka will look at past and present global trends through the Darwinian lens: what has survived and why, what hasn't and why, and what might the next generation of books and publishing look like?

Carolyn Pittis
Managing Director, Welman Digital LLC, NYC

Yale Publishing Course: Your Springboard for Growth

Carolyn Pittis will share her perspective on how to best use the week to identify opportunities and action for a prosperous career.

Creating a Learning Organization in Multi-Channel Publishing
Adapting, innovating, and measuring success

The global publishing marketplace has transformed at an astonishing rate, and all are being asked to do more, faster. Creative publishing professionals must work collaboratively across functional teams to achieve new goals, yet like all humans they can struggle to adapt quickly. Carolyn Pittis will provide an overview of emerging workplace trends and real-world tactics for increasing innovation, collaboration, and productivity.


Niche Publishing
Thinking Big about Small Audiences

“Niche” publishing doesn’t have to mean niche sales, and specialized audiences should not limit one to specialized thinking. Mark Polizzotti draws on more than 30 years’ professional experience in book publishing – at companies ranging from Random House and Weidenfeld & Nicolson to David R. Godine – to explore the challenges and opportunities facing small and not-for-profit publishers in the current age. He will discuss the mechanics, economics, and strategies of reaching and expanding a “defined” readership; the comparative advantages of print and digital (and how to choose); outsourcing versus doing it yourself; breaking out of your program’s defined parameters while still respecting them; and, in a word, doing more with less. 


Strategic Transformation
How one niche publisher has used its brand to increase the impact of its ideas

In 2008, HBR Press was folded into the Harvard Business Review Group, merging with the Harvard Business Review magazine and the then-fledgling website, This move gave HBR Press an opportunity to explore what this meant strategically – how the Press could leverage its brand and its new channels to transform its publishing. Tim Sullivan will explore lessons from the Press’s transformation, and what it has meant for each part of the organization.

Amy Wrzesniewski
Professor of Organizational Behavior, Yale School of Management

Managing Organizational Change
Navigating a way forward

How do you navigate and manage organizations in the midst of rapid change? This session explores organizational change from the macro-forces that create it to the patterns that changes take and analyzes how periods of transition impact both managers and their staff. Particular attention will be paid to how individuals can rethink their own careers and take greater control of their futures

Jeffrey Yamaguchi
Director of Audience Development, Narativ Media

Podcasts Are Right Now
How to Harness the Power of the Audio "Revolution"

Explosive growth is happening right now in the podcast space. Listenership, investment and show offerings are all on the rise. Going beyond the obvious promotional opportunities, publishers are in a unique position to develop innovative programming and audience development initiatives leveraging their unique relationship with authors, readers, and the storytelling experience. That said, there are challenges: there's already a giant in the space (Apple); Audible (owned by Amazon) is trying to lead an audio "revolution;" audio drama podcasts are getting so good that they're making fiction audio books seem like they're built on a broken template. Jeffrey Yamaguchi shows that while launching a new podcast show is easy, making a hit is very, very hard. He will explore this new arena, citing real-world examples