Innovation means more than doing something new. It means testing boundaries and questioning the status quo. It means looking beyond the industry for inspiration. And sometimes, it simply means doing what makes sense given the tools that are available. In the book industry, innovation means all of these things, and in particular, it means embracing the new digital landscape and the opportunities that come with it. All of the innovators interviewed in this section, whether from trade, academic, or independent publishing, have joined the digital revolution and are pushing the industry into a sustainable future, exploring new products and services, and adapting to disruption.
Read on to glean insight from: Chantal Restivo-Alessi of HarperCollins, Ellen Faran of MIT Press, Robert Clouse of Stonefly Press, and Luke Parker Bowles of Open Road Media.
Co-Founder and Publisher, Stonefly Press
The Stonefly Experience
Robert Clouse, an industry veteran of 20-plus years, has always focused on building author-reader relationships and creating experiences that go beyond the books. He learned the value of that first-hand while working in business book publishing.The segment took a significant hit during the 2008 economic downturn, yet the event aspect of the business—sending authors to speak at business conferences and seminars—never lost its appeal. Readers wanted an opportunity to interact with the author, and to experience publisher content in a unique way.
"People still wanted the personal experience," says Clouse. "I witnessed that for eight or ten years, so I knew by the time I was ready to launch Stonefly that we had to make this an experience and not just about books."
Propelled by that insight, Clouse has left traditional publishing behind and launched a startup press dedicated to his other lifelong passion: fly fishing. In 2012 Clouse launched Stonefly Press with a handful of equity partners and a desire to make his authors the center of the fly-fishing community.
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Ellen Harvey is a freelance writer and editor who covers the latest technologies and strategies reshaping the publishing landscape. She previously served as the Senior Editor at Publishing Executive and Book Business.