Answering Questions About Book Publishing at Yale
"What can I do to continue to learn?" This question was recently posed by an editor to her boss, the publisher of a mid-sized publishing house. The reply? He sent her to New Haven.
In New Haven, this editor joined a group of 100 or so like-minded seekers of book publishing knowledge, all gathering to attend the Yale Publishing Course. In this, the second week of this long-standing annual program which originated at Stanford (week 1 focused on magazine publishing), class members came from near (New York, of course, as well as Boston and DC) and very far: Qatar, Brazil and Denmark, to name a few.
The group includes a collection of editors and financial managers, printers, designers, and production people, all convened to seek solutions to their specific problems as well as to join in the think-tank academic atmosphere and “get creative” as opposed to "dying away in the digital world."
Course director Tina Weiner welcomed attendees with a promise that they would address a great range of concerns in the course, and that answers would come not just from their roster of industry-leading speakers but from dialogue with each other. The week to come will present speakers who are publishers, editors, librarians, lawyers, digital experts, marketers, consultants, and booksellers.
Abrams President and CEO Michael Jacobs spoke at the opening dinner Sunday evening and called upon participants to approach publishing with a fresh, open "beginner’s mind." And Weiner told those gathered in the room: "We’re not going to tweak the industry. We’re going to have to completely reinvent it."
Monday morning notes:
Richard Foster, Yale School of Management, speaks on our need for "Creative Destruction," and Michael Pietsch, Executive Vice President and Publisher of Little, Brown and Company, says he’s smiling through this current wave of industry doom and gloom because business is good. (Look for our “Corner Office” interview with Pietsch in the next issue of Book Business.)