Leadership Strategies in Book Publishing
2015 Program

2015 Faculty Biographies

Robert Baensch
President, Baensch International Group Ltd.

Financial Realities in Print and Digital Book Publishing

Financial management is a key responsibility in the transition from print to digital – or the combination of the printed book and different formats of e-books. There are more variables with new developmental and operating costs to generate a wide range of sources for income. Therefore, financial management has become the responsibility for every function in book publishing.  The session will present the basic P&L for book publishing and the new factors that shape the P&L for e-book content development, online marketing, digital distribution and different income sources. Examples for established companies and new start-up business units will provide practical tools for the financial management of your business to achieve profitable results.

Katherine Brown
Chief Operating Officer, Yale University Press

Leveraging Your Brand and Attracting Audiences - Opportunities and challenges

Publishers have long grappled with the concept of brands in a business of many individual titles and how to maximize brand value – company, imprints, series, authors, etc.  Kate Brown will discuss how a trade-oriented university press is attempting to leverage its brand authority as well as determine how to apply scarce resources to get the best return on investment. 

Kristin Fassler
Vice President and Director of Marketing, Ballantine, Bantam Dell

Analyze, Mobilize, Socialize - Consumer-facing marketing in the digital age

Marchant and Fassler take you step-by-step through the creation and execution of an integrated marketing campaign for both fiction and non-fiction titles. They show how to develop a comprehensive marketing plan, including advertising, promotions, video, and analytics, and provide practical tips on how to involve the author in establishing his/her unique brand identity through the skillful use of social media. They cover the evolving role of the marketer in a publishing house, the changing digital landscape, and the increasing importance of utilizing consumer insights to reach and grow an author’s readership.

Carol Fitzgerald
President, The Book Report Network (TBRN)

Thinking like a Reader - Strategies for targeting and engaging your most important customer

Since “B to C” has become a core strategy for the book business, a vital and ongoing conversation has emerged about how to reach readers. Who are they? Where can you find them? How do you sell to them? By thinking like a reader, you will understand how to reach them —and engage them. This and more will be explored, including a look into “The Silent Majority.” 

Dick Foster
Lecturer, Yale School of Management; Executive-in-Residence, Yale Entrepreneurial Institute; Venture Partner, Lux Capital

Creative Destruction in Book Publishing - Balancing continuity and change

The publishing industry, both in general and with specific respect to books, is in the throes of a classic industry disruption. Industry leadership is changing. Old distinguished competitors are slipping away. New start-ups with no track record of accomplishment are moving forward at times with seemingly more capital than insight. Where will it lead? What does this mean for you? This talk describes the common patterns of the past and applies those patterns to the current book publishing industry. The session will offer recommendations to guide the development of successful action plans for capitalizing on the current turmoil.

Susan Gibbons
University Librarian, Yale University

Libraries & Publishers - Relationships in transition

As library budgets continue to fall and the number of books published and their prices increase, the coping strategies of libraries can often be detrimental to publishers. Gibbons will focus on current points of tension and describe the strategies libraries use to adjust to the changing publishing landscape. She will also cover new subscription and purchasing models, the thorny issues surrounding digital rights management and digital preservation, and the potential impact that permission requests for books in online learning platforms are having on libraries and publishers.

George Gibson
Publishing Director, Bloomsbury Publishing, New York

Becoming a Truly Global Publisher - The pros, the cons, the pitfalls

Every publisher should have a global perspective of some kind in today’s digital, socially-connected world. And every department can contribute to this global mentality. Using examples from Bloomsbury’s experience as a fully-committed global trade publisher, we’ll discuss challenges (mindset, timing, coordination) and opportunities (digital and print sales, author care, corporate visibility) connected with global publishing.

David Godine
Founder and President, David R. Godine, Inc.

Strategies for Survival in an Age of Globalization - A case study in perseverance

David Godine explains how a small, underfunded, unknown, and totally Inexperienced publishing house managed to survive 45 years (and is still going strong) by publishing the right mix of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, illustrated, children’s, and books in translation. He shows how the size of his operation might well be what ultimately led to success

Bruce Harris
Publishing Consultant, Bruce Harris Books

Publishing á la Carte

The faster things change the more essential elements prevail. A veteran publisher of bestsellers, Harris offers some non-traditional strategies for book publishing, urging both individual and corporate reinvention as methods to manage change.

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
Chief Marketing Officer, Perseus Books Group

Plays Well with Others - The promise and perils of partnering in publishing

Increasingly, learning to partner well is crucial for building a successful publishing house. Brand partnerships, content JVs, licensing arrangements, distribution deals, technology pilots, first-look options –  they occur across the whole value chain of publishing, and yet the strategies, capabilities and approaches are not well shared or understood. Rick Joyce will discuss his experiences, working in partnership with The Nation magazine, The Weinstein Company, Harvard Business School Press, The Economist, The Daily Beast, Participant Films, HBO, and others.  

Marcus Leaver
Chief Executive Officer, The Quarto Group Inc.

Adapt or Perish - Lessons I continue to learn on the frontline of global niche publishing

In a presentation based on real-world examples, an international publisher discusses how to do business in the shifting landscape of global publishing. Marcus Leaver demonstrates how to put books in customers’ hands from Auckland to Zanzibar - and all points in between. 

Martin Levin
Counsel, Cowan, Liebowitz, P.C., and former CEO, Times-Mirror Book Company

Would You Publish This Book?

Drawing on real world experiences, Martin Levin leads the class through an examination of real life ethical dilemmas publishers face in determining what to publish.

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 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.

Leigh Marchant
Vice President and Director of Marketing, Random House, Spiegel & Grau

Analyze, Mobilize, Socialize - Consumer-facing marketing in the digital age

Marchant and Fassler take you step-by-step through the creation and execution of an integrated marketing campaign for both fiction and non-fiction titles. They show how to develop a comprehensive marketing plan, including advertising, promotions, video, and analytics, and provide practical tips on how to involve the author in establishing his/her unique brand identity through the skillful use of social media. They cover the evolving role of the marketer in a publishing house, the changing digital landscape, and the increasing importance of utilizing consumer insights to reach and grow an author’s readership.

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

Unique Stories, Unique eBook Experiences - Understanding How to Evaluate Your Options

Every story is unique and every eBook should reflect that as best it can. An industry innovator in digital development shows how we can use the evolving technologies of eBooks to improve storytelling and how to manage expectations within the realities of the current eBook format landscape. Liisa McCloy-Kelley explains the many layers involved (content/design/navigation/interactivity/ enhancements) in finding the best digital representation for every story. She will share updates from the standards world, help you understand how to think about eBooks in out of the box ways and see some of the real-world tests of new experiences and consumer response. The session includes an interactive exercise that allows you to think about how we can rethink eBook navigation as we no longer have the limitations of pages bound in a particular order.

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.

Greg 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 players as well as newer participants. He also explains how publishing companies, both consumer and professional, are valued. He reviews some of the emerging business models and 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

Everything changes and then nothing changes - From the Kindle to today’s most interesting startups

With nearly eight years of hindsight, where do digital books and the Kindle stand today? What promises have been fulfilled? Which have been left behind? Why are Kindle books still so ugly? How has our relationship to digital books changed in recent years? And what does this mean for print? We’ll look into all of these questions and more, as well as checkup on the startup scene and see which companies are building the most interesting, if not necessarily disruptive, publishing related software and platforms. 

Ed Nawotka
Founder and Editor-in-Chief, Publishing Perspectives

Publishing in the Age of Globalization

Quick — can you name the bestselling authors in China? India? Mexico? How about Canada? If not, ask yourself why…Is it because you’re not curious? Because you don’t think those markets matter to you? The fact is in this age of globalization what happens in Australia can have a dramatic impact on publishing in Argentina or Austria. In this rapid-fire presentation Ed Nawotka will offer an overview of what is happening in major and emerging markets around the world. We’ll cover a wide range of topics, from rights and licensing trends in the Far East and digital innovation in the Southern hemisphere, to how political instability has impacted the publishing markets in the Middle East and what’s coming next out of Silicon Valley and Sweden. You’ll come away with a better understanding of how all publishing professionals share common challenges and with insights that might offer you an advantage over your nearest competitor, no matter what language they speak. 

Carolyn Pittis
VP, Operations, Sterling Publishing; Managing Director, Welman Digital LLC, NYC

Faster, Better, Simpler - Five fast ways to fire up change

Book publishing is in a “high-change” period of its history. Managers are asking their staff to do ever more with less, yet may be less knowledgeable about how to make those changes. Departments that have been historically separate and distinct must work collaboratively across processes to achieve goals. What can employees at any level do today with the available resources to create positive forward motion for themselves and their colleagues? Carolyn Pittis will share case studies that show how to use these methods to move a company in new directions. 

Mark Polizzotti
Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Traditional Publishing Enters the Digital Era - Confronting the new technology and global marketplace while staying true to mission

How are traditional and ‘specialty’ publishers facing the new realities of evolving technology and the marketplace? The publisher at the Metropolitan Museum of Art discusses how museum publishers are stepping out of their cloisters, making friends with the internet and global economy, and broadening their appeal and their audiences.

David Wan
Chief Executive Officer, Harvard Business Publishing

Reinventing the Harvard Business Publishing Brand - From blogs to magazine to books

The imperative to move Harvard Business Publishing to a more vibrant, sustainable, and digitally-focused future began with the redesign of the magazine, Harvard Business Review, and the launch of a new website, In this compelling case study, David Wan describes the strategy, execution, and challenges encountered as HBP integrated its various “silos” – magazine, website, events, books – to meet the changing needs of its readers, contributors, and sponsors/advertisers. He highlights the organizational changes made to support a multi-platform strategy, innovative ways of working with authors to test their ideas with readers, and greater outreach to a much larger audience. He explains HBP’s business model and its ongoing efforts to produce an exciting new mix of content in print and on digital, especially mobile, platforms.

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 macroforces 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.