Management Consulting & Marketing

CURRENT PROJECTS

We're always multi-purposing our work. An ideal project is one in which we deliver a tremendous solution for the client, while learning and having a result that is useful for other applications. Our development of Agio Publishing House fits this ideal. We are having wonderful results with our earliest books (the authors are very excited and happy!) while establishing a viable business enterprise that can be replicated by others. The learning is continuous.

Here's a brief explanation ... I see that many publishing industry veterans (like Marsha and me) would like to run their own small enterprise. A few owners of existing small publishing houses have told me they must somehow change their business model to increase profitability and improve their lifestyle balance. So our new publishing house is serving as a developmental prototype for other small publishing houses. Here's what the concepts are:

  • efficient (use web apps to manage workflow, home office, etc.)
  • portable (most everything is digital and web-based, so you can do this from a holiday location or a remote lifestyle)
  • economically viable at a small scale (can function with less than one full-time person)
  • intentionally small scale (designed for one person, Ma-and-Pa, two partners ... but not needing to grow to be profitable)
  • low entry costs (mostly computers and software, training, enough money to live on during launch phase)
  • not selling books on a returnable basis (for economic and environmental reasons)
  • multi-purposing of content (what I call the multiple long tails of availability and awareness ... hard and soft cover editions, audio edition, eBooks, search programs, copyright clearance, public lending right, etc.)
  • collaborative financing of each book project (author contributes manuscript, money, time and connections; publisher provides connections and a portion of expertise/time in kind)
  • selective (only work on book projects that you feel have merit, quality, fit)
  • publishing company serves as vehicle for owners' self-expression (design urges, editing compulsions, writing desires, marketing mania ...)
  • committed to CSR corporate social responsibility (triple-bottom-line auditing)
  • using on-demand production and fulfilment for books and audio DVDs
  • high royalties for the author (up to 50% of retail for online sales through Amazon and other sites)
  • ideal for publishing veterans to apply their expertise and passion
  • customized marketing plans (from minimal to extensive according to situation and purpose in 14-P marketing mix)
  • support network of similar new model publishers (perhaps a central aggregator function for multipurposing content and submissions; coaching from Bruce Batchelor at trelawnyconsulting.com; mentoring/wiki/blogging/buddying support).


OTHER CURRENT AND RECENT PROJECTS

  • advising a US company on lawsuits involving printing and copyright matters
  • consulting to publishing companies
  • advising/mentoring two publishing start-ups
  • pro bono advocacy work to eliminate returnable terms within the book trade (whereby books are routinely printed in excessive quantities by the publishers, then placed in bookstores on a consignment basis, causing massive waste of resources and negative financial impact throughout the industry) -- see www.bookindustrybailout.ca.


A SELECTION OF PAST PROJECTS TO ILLUSTRATE SCALE AND RANGE

  • secretariat services to intra-governmental initiatives in technology and communications
  • establishing marketing strategy and rebranding for a training software company
  • member of board of directors for NGOs (non-government organizations) and private corporations in Canada, USA, Republic of Ireland and UK
  • interim contracts to fill C-level positions at two NGOs (to replace existing executive directors on maternity leave and overseas secondment)
  • launched a consumer health magazine for NGO, served as editor/publisher for first four issues
  • developed business model for a print-on-demand book publishing service (trafford.com) and served as CEO and publisher for 11 years, building company to over $1 million per month in sales and clear profitability
  • created marketing strategy for Trafford Publishing; developed all marketing materials in three languages; forged unique publicity and distribution alliances with Amazon, Google and other multinationals; oversaw $1+ million per year expenditure on magazine and AdWords advertising
  • designed and implemented fundraising campaigns for NGOs (direct mail campaigns for The Lung Association, Red Cross Society and The Women's Centre; golf coupon booklets for The Lung Association)
  • produced municipal marketing program (identity, tourist guide, economic development materials, trade show display, mail-outs, etc.) -- winning national awards for this work
  • corporate promotions for Cadillac Fairview Malls and a Swiss airline
  • redesigned and produced 50 issues of Ontario Fisherman magazine - I mention this for nostalgia mostly -- this was back in 1984 and likely it was the first consumer magazine in North America to be "desktop published" (using PageMaker 1.0 and the first LaserWriter on a 1 Mb Macintosh Plus with no internal harddrive)... we were sworn to secrecy because the editor believed that fisherman would be uneasy with the concept of their favourite magazine being designed on a desktop computer
  • produced a series of guidebooks for a magazine publisher
  • branding: mission statements, logos, corporate identity work for numerous government initiatives, non-profits and corporations
  • developed Internet standards for 4 government ministries
  • designed and typeset hundreds of books, magazine issues, advertisements and brochures, many art gallery catalogs
  • wrote and published internal and external newsletters for government bodies, including one for 8 years


SAMPLING OF CLIENTS... Red Cross Society... BC Ministry of Forests... Simon Fraser University - Canadian Centre for Studies in Publishing... Carmanah Resources... Georgian College... Department of Fisheries & Oceans (Canada)... The Women's Center... Ontario Ministry of Skills Development... The Lung Association... BC Ministry of Environment, Lands & Parks... Trafford Holdings Ltd... Grey County Board of Education... BC Systems Corporation... BC Ministry of Small Business, Tourism & Culture... Forest Practices Board... Ontario Fisherman magazine... BC Ministry of Energy, Mines & Petroleum Resources... Forestry Canada... BC Cabinet Secretariat... James Pratt Consulting... Glen Margaret Publishing... Royal Roads University... BC Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries & Foods... Tom Thompson Art Gallery... ABQ Communications... Association of Canadian Publishers... Atlantic Publishers Marketing Association...

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