Although I neglected to blog, last year was my best year so far at the agency and I am enthusiastic about the future.
There’s no doubt that the sea change from print to digital is continuing but the affect is not as large yet in the non-fiction market. Still, my clients are increasingly working on projects that are e-only, not just books but online education and training.
Some highlights from 2012:
I’ve been an enthusiastic partner with Lynda.com, and Fresh Books’ clients were featured prominently in the growing business skills category especially.
An entire series of live action business skills video from client Dave Crenshaw, including courses on Discovering Your Strengths, Becoming a Thought Leader, Enhancing Your Productivity, Building Your Professional Network, Insights from a Business Coach, Achieving Your Goals, and Insights from a Business Coach.
Two new Peter Kent courses on SEO: Analyzing Your Website to Improve SEO, and SEO: Link Building in Depth.
A live action Christopher Matthew Spencer course on Sales Skills Fundamentals.
Rounding out my new Lynda titles was Sue Jenkins’ course on Designing Web Sites from Photoshop to Dreamweaver.
2012 was a great year for building an even bigger education list at “for Dummies” with new clients and old. Highlights include:
The Physician Assistant Exam Test Prep for Dummies, by Rich Snyder, D.O., and Barry Schoenborn.
Medical Billing and Coding for Dummies, by Karen Smiley.
Medical Transcription for Dummies, by Anne Martinez.
Biology Workbook for Dummies, by Rene Kratz.
Alecia Spooner followed her Geology for Dummies with her new book, Environmental Science for Dummies.
Leading Business Change for Dummies, by Christina Schlacter and Terry Hildebrandt.
Corporate Finance for Dummies, by Michael Taillard.
And a brand new edition of Investing Online for Dummies by Matt Krantz.
And the technology list was as busy as ever, including:
Nexus 7 for Dummies, Droid 4 for Dummies, Samsung Galaxy TAB for Dummies, Android Phones for Dummies, and Samsung Galaxy Note for Dummies, by Dan Gookin, who was not only the first but also among the most prolific and bestselling authors in the series.
Ed Baig updated new editions of iPhone for Dummies, iPad for Dummies, and iPad Mini for Dummies.
John Paul Mueller added the Windows 8 for Dummies Quick Reference and has now officially written over 90 books in his career.
Stephanie Diamond contributed to Social CRM for Dummies, and co-authored Social Media Marketing for Dummies, with Shiv Singh.
Sue Jenkins wrote the Tumblr for Dummies, Portable Edition, and revised her bestselling Web Design All-In-One Desk Reference for Dummies.
Bill and Christina wrote two new gaming titles for Que Publishing, My Xbox, and My Playstation Vita.
Barrie Sosinsky wrote the Windows 8 Visual QuickStart Guide, published by Peachpit.
Harold Davis released two big books last year, Creating HDR Photos: The Complete Guide to High Dynamic Range Photography, published by Amphoto, and Photographing Waterdrops, published by Focal Press.
Gary Bouton updated his CorelDRAW X6: The Official Guide, for Osborne/McGraw-Hill.
Brett Stern wrote a great book in the A Press “at Work” series with his Inventors at Work.
And finally, I was thrilled to do a book with the talented Marsha Collier, Social Media Commerce for Dummies, which appeared on a number of lists of best social media books for 2012.
Clients have launched two new courses with online education provider Ed2Go:
Introduction to Biology, by Rene Kratz; and Creating WordPress Websites II, by John Agress.
As to my newest irreference title, I was thrilled to see the newest book from Roger Ma, The Vampire Combat Manual: A Guide to Fighting the Bloodthirsty Undead, with Berkley Publishing.
I’d like to thank my clients for working with me. It’s been a privilege to work with so many talented writers and educators. Thanks!
It’s funny, now that we’re well into 2012 it doesn’t seem so much that the end of the world is near. The Mayan calendar titles were all published two years ago and now seem “old hat.” These days, the publishing news seems to be centered around the continued growth of ebooks and self-publishing, the domination of Amazon, the new iPad (and new iPad killers), and the imminent arrival of the first Hunger Games movie!
My clients are awesome (you can quote me), and I am thrilled to be associated with them as they’ve been busy writing books, recording videos and teaching courses.
Here are the latest batch of books and products they’ve released over the last six months:
Congratulations to Harold and Phyllis Davis, who wrote and packaged what is probably the most beautiful book I’ve ever worked on, Photographing Flowers: Exploring Macro Worlds with Harold Davis. This is a book that transcends how-to and can also be appreciated as a coffee-table title.
Congratulations to Dave Crenshaw on the launch of his new “Invaluable” series at Lynda.com. The first two courses are live: Invaluable: Unlocking Your Abilities, and Invaluable: Developing Your Business Savvy. I’ve seen some of the early reviews for this series and they are fantastic. More courses are coming in the next three months!
Congratulations to Dan Gookin on both winning a city council seat in Coeur d’Alene, and continuing to write and publish mobile phone and tablet titles at a breakneck pace. Dan’s newest include: Droid Bionic for Dummies, Samsung Galaxy TAB 10.1 for Dummies, Droid 3 for Dummies, and Android Phones for Dummies.
Congratulations to John Arnold on his first Lynda.com course, Effective Email Marketing Strategies.
Congratulations to Rosanne Rust and Cindy Cleckner on the launch of their Hypertension Cookbook for Dummies.
Congratulations to Meri Raffetto and Wendy Jo Peterson on their new cookbook, The Mediterranean Diet Cookbook for Dummies.
Congratulations to John Mueller who wrote one of the first books in the new Microsoft Press/O’Reilly “Start Here” series, Start Here: Learn Microsoft Visual C# 2010.
Congratulations to Ed Baig on iPad for Dummies 3e. Ironically, the revision of that book starts today!
Congratulations to Christopher Matthew Spencer on his third course with Lynda.com, PayPal Essential Training.
Congratulations to Roger Ma, who just wrapped his second book, The Vampire Combat Manual: A Guide to Fighting the Blood Suckers for Berkley. Meanwhile, his first book, The Zombie Combat Manual: A Guide to Fighting the Living Dead, has been published in Spain and the audio rights were recently purchased by Tantor.
Congratulations to Bill and Christina Loguidice on the publication of My Xbox: Xbox 360, Kinect, and Xbox Live, from Que.
Congratulations to Holly Day and Michael Pilhofer on the second edition of Music Theory for Dummies. The first edition sold like gangbusters around the world and the updated version will probably do the same!
Finally, congratulations to Sue Jenkins on her first course with Lynda.com Designing Web Sites from Photoshop to Dreamweaver.
Thanks for working with me!
I can’t believe the kids are going back to school next week! It’s prompted me to take inventory of what I’ve been doing and post an update.
Even as Borders folds it’s clear that books aren’t going away, especially in the how-to arena, but it’s also obvious that the market will change in fundamental ways over the next five years. As for me, my business continues to focus on helping my clients to empower people who want to do better in school, or do better in their job, or learn something new (even if it means fighting zombies!).
This means that in addition to books I am also focused on new ways to reach learners, including online ed and online training, and video training. I find that these venues can be a great way for my clients to reach people they might not have reached with traditional books, so you’ll see a mix of books and courses below!
A big congratulations to Harold and Phyllis Davis on their continuing success in packaging two stunning series of books on digital photography and photoshop. They’ve added Creative Lighting, and Creative Landscapes to their series with Wiley, now at seven books in all. They also shipped a new title with Focal Press, The Photoshop Darkroom 2: Creative Digital Transformations. So far, individual books from these two series have been licensed for translation into ten languages!
I have a ton of new Dummies titles out now -
Congratulations to Dan Gookin who has worked at an incredible pace this year. At one point Dan had four books in production, sitting at the publisher, which must be some kind of record. His most recent titles include HTC Thunderbolt for Dummies, Samsung Galaxy TAB for Dummies, Motorola Atrix for Dummies (with FB client Bill Loguidice), and Troubleshooting and Maintaining Your PC: AIO Desk Reference For Dummies (2e). His newest, Droid X2 for Dummies, is currently in production.
Congratulations to Andy Rathbone on the publication of his Motorola Xoom for Dummies.
Congratulations to Rene Kratz on her newest, Botany for Dummies.
Congratulations to Alecia Spooner on her first book, Geology for Dummies.
Congratulations to Rich Snyder D.O. and Barry Schoenborn on the publication of Medical Dosage Calculations for Dummies.
Congratulations to veteran children’s book author and editor Deborah Halverson on Writing Young Adult Fiction for Dummies. For a great model of how to run a virtual book launch you should check out her blog.
And new courses online as well -
Congratulation to Dave Crenshaw on the launch of his first course with Lynda.com, Time Management Fundamentals. For a sample and a free seven day trial at Lynda you can follow Dave’s splash page on his own website, here: http://www.davecrenshaw.com/free/ – another example of great author marketing at its finest! Dave’s newest course on Effective Meetings will post later this month.
Also congrats to Peter Kent on his Lynda.com course, Analyzing Your Web Site to Improve SEO.
Finally, congratulations to WordPress guru John Agress on his course Creating WordPress Web Sites, with Ed2Go.
It takes a village to make a book, or to create a course. To all my clients – thanks for working with me!
I’m pleased to announce a few of my books published in the last six months. I continue to be something of a Dummies specialist – and today I’m reminded that it’s been 20 years ago now since the first book in the series (Hi Dan, I know that ages us).
Today, I’m especially pleased to announce new editions, and second books.
Congratulations to Meri Raffetto and Rosanne Rust on the publication of The Glycemic Index Diet Cookbook for Dummies, a follow-up to Meri’s first book, The Glycemic Index Diet for Dummies. Congrats also to Rosanne and Meri on the Calorie Counter Journal for Dummies.
Congratulations to USA Today columnist Matt Krantz on a new edition of Investing Online for Dummies.
Congratulations to Lee Varis on the publication of the second edition of his bestseller, Skin: The Complete Guide to Digitally Lighting, Photographing, and Retouching Faces and Bodies.
Congratulations to Stephanie Diamond on the publication of her second book, Prezi for Dummies.
Congratulations to Harold Davis on his Creative Portraits, the fifth in his Creative Series (and we have more to come!).
Congratulations to Gail Perry and Matt Krantz on the first edition of Mint.Com for Dummies.
Congratulations to Rich Wagner on his newest Wrox title, Professional Flash Mobile Development: Creating Android and iPhone Applications.
Congratulations to Sue Jenkins on her Smashing Photoshop CS5.
Congratulations to Barrie Sosinsky on the publication of the Cloud Computing Bible.
Congratulations to John Mueller on his Windows Command Line Administration Instant Reference.
Congratulations, finally, to eBay and online marketing wiz Christopher Spencer on his first two video training courses with Lynda.com: eBay for Sellers Essential Training, and eBay for Buyers, Essential Training.
Happy New Year to all Fresh Books clients and partners
I had a great year in 2010, which is important because as my business grows it helps me to help my clients find more opportunities.
For a literary agent, I find myself doing increasingly more business with video training libraries and online courses. For my business it’s important to look beyond the “book business” to the “education business,” or “training business.” I am convinced that these alternate channels are going to be an essential part of any writer or educator’s long term career plans. And the best part is that great writers have a leg up on crafting great training.
I have always believed that it’s important to have multiple streams of income, and with the reduction in the independent bookstore market it is increasingly important to look at for multiple platforms, not just multiple books.
Please feel free to pitch me anything, but think deeply about what you want to write about, and how it fits into your life plans.
Does a particular project help you to get a better job?
Does it help you to secure better or bigger clients?
Does it enable you to raise your rates?
Does it give you the platform to self-publish a higher priced ebook that you can manage to market directly to your readers?
Or to do more speaking and training?
Does it lead naturally to more books?
Here’s to a successful 2011 to all my friends and partners. Thanks for your support and thanks for working with me. I look forward to the future.
I hope you’re having a great June. I have a short round-up of books, new and old.
One I missed earlier in the year: congratulations to Christina and Bill Loguidice on the publication of Wii Fitness for Dummies (Wiley).
Congratulations to Roger Ma on the publication of the Zombie Combat Manual: A Guide to Fighting the Living Dead (Berkley). I’m happy to report that ZCM is already in its second printing!
Congratulations to Harold Davis on the publication of Creative Black and White: Digital Photography Tips and Techniques (Wiley), the fourth book in Harold’s Creative series.
Congratulations to Harold and Phyllis Davis on their postcard book with Wilderness Press, Views of the Golden Gate, based on their 100 Views of the Golden Gate.
And congratulations also to Harold and Phyllis on the launch of their Photoshop Darkroom iPad app, produced by Focal Press, linked from the iTunes store Here.
Congratulations to Dave Crenshaw on the publication of his second book, Invaluable: The Secret to Becoming Irreplaceable (Jossey-Bass).
Congratulations to Ed Baig on the publication of iPad for Dummies (Wiley), a book launched in record time, and which has also already gone back to press for a second printing.
Congratulations to Silviu Angelescu on the publication of the CCNA Certification AIO Desk Reference for Dummies (Wiley).
I met an impressive man the other day.
My wife and I were buying a used motorized wheelchair for my grand-father-in-law. We found it on Craigslist and negotiated the fee and everything ahead of time by phone and drove to meet the seller, Justin.
It turns out that Justin has a business maintaining and reconditioning motorized wheelchairs. He serves about 3000 active clients. That’s an amazing number in itself.
I know nothing about wheelchairs, but Justin took about 40 minutes explaining every small detail of the chair and its features, and answered every question we didn’t even know we had.
Of course, while I listened to his presentation my thought was “he should write a book!” He was passionate about his expertise, and wanted to share as much as he could. At first, I thought he was in the business of reconditioning and selling these devices, but by the end I understood that he was in the business of helping people remain mobile and active and independent. I can think of few things more important to his clients.
Justin is a mobility expert, and his mission is about more than batteries and speed controllers. In retrospect I’m not sure there’s enough of a market for him to place a book, but his sort of expertise and passion are the same things I look for, and admire, in my clients.
As readers we often take expertise for granted and don’t always recognize what’s right in front of us. Or we may not recognize the preparation that has gone into the work before us.
On first hearing the title, you might think it’s another gimmick, but as I read the galleys of Roger Ma’s Zombie Combat Manual, I’m reminded that Roger is an expert martial artist who can write with wonderfully restrained wit about how to kill zombies using battle-axes, staffs, or various knives. There’s plenty of zombie gore, but Roger is also a credible witness and expert about mixed martial arts. Thankfully, he’s compelled to share his knowledge to help us protect ourselves against zombie outbreaks!
Likewise, every time I see an outline from Dan Gookin, I am reminded that Dan is a true expert at conceiving and organizing a book. There’s a reason that Dan’s book, DOS for Dummies, spawned such a huge and long-lasting series, and it’s obvious to me every time I read one of his outlines. Dan is an expert at speaking directly to the reader, eliminating the extraneous, and focusing on what’s really important. Ultimately, his organizational gift and unique wit have helped millions of readers learn to accomplish something that may have at first intimidated them.
What’s new these days is the ability authors have to share their expertise even before they pitch a book. Tamar Weinberg had written extensively about Social Media Marketing for several years before she pitched a book. Harold Davis shared his photos and techniques widely (and freely) on flickr and on his photoblog before he turned to books.
I can list a comparable expertise and innate helpfulness in every client I represent.
It’s really something to be an expert, and even more so to be able to share your expertise with others. If I was going to ask only one question of prospective clients I would ask “What do you have to share?”
Welcome to my new WordPress blog. I’ve moved the entire site to WordPress in order to more easily update client news and bios and my submission guidelines.
2010 has been super busy so far with plenty of new books in the works and plenty more coming down the pike.
2010 is also my fifth year anniversary at Fresh Books. I’m thankful to all the clients and publishing partners who have worked with me and supported my agency from the get-go.
Congratulations to nutritionist Meri Raffetto on the publication of The Glycemic Index Diet for Dummies, and congrats to Meri and her collaborator Rosanne Rust on the publication of The Calorie Counter for Dummies.
A big congratulations to Harold Davis, whose books – Creative Close-Ups, Creative Night, Creative Composition, and The Photoshop Darkroom – shared space on Amazon’s Computer and Internet Top 100 over the holidays. I’m pleased to announce that Harold’s next book in the Creative series, Creative Black and White, will publish later this year.
Congratulations to Barrie Sosinksy on the publication of the Networking Bible.
Congratulations to Gary Bouton on the publication of his Xara Extreme: The Official Guide.
A big congratulations to Dave Crenshaw on finishing his second business fable, Invaluable: The Secret to Becoming Irreplaceable, which is due out this May.
Congratulations to Eric Groves, SVP at Constant Contact, on the publication of The Constant Contact Guide to Email Marketing, now out in hardcover from Wiley.
Congratulations to book packaging duo Harold and Phyllis Davis on the publication of the amazing Photoshop Darkroom: Creative Digital Post-Processing from Focal Press.
Harold is also launching a new Creative Digital Photography Tips and Techniques series with Wiley’s Visual group this month. The first three titles include Creative Composition, Creative Night, and Creative Close-Ups. It takes an amazing amount of effort and planning to release a new series in a timely manner and I’m proud to have been involved in the process of bring these books to market and helping make Harold’s vision a reality.
Congratulations to USA Today Puzzle Editor Timothy Parker’s new puzzle book, Crosswords for Seniors for Dummies.
And congratulations on another rush to publication effort by Ed Baig on his Palm Pre: The Missing Manual.
Thanks for working with me!
I kept it to myself but we had a long spring here as my mom moved in with us at the beginning of the year and passed away in May. I ended up spending half this year as caregiver and half as agent, and it was a challenge. I’m fortunate that my authors continued to chug right along and that my dummies backlist especially continued to grow. I’m grateful to all of my clients in this time. Thanks for your support.
For the moment I’m happy to add a few new books to my list, with more to come soon.
Congratulations to Dan Gookin on the publication of his Troubleshooting and Maintaining Your PC All-In-One Desk Reference for Dummies.
Congratulations to Rene Kratz on the publication of Molecular and Cell Biology for Dummies.
Congratulations to Holly Day and Sherman Wick on the publication of Walking Twin Cities (Wilderness Press).
Congratulations to Sue Jenkins on two new DVDs: The Designer’s Guide to Photoshop, and The Fundamentals of Photoshop Elements, as well as her latest book, Web Design All-In-One for Dummies.
Congratulations to Ed Baig on the publication of the 3rd edition of his iPhone book, iPhone for Dummies 3GS.
Congratulations to Tamar Weinberg on the publication of The New Community Rules: Marketing on the Social Web, (O’Reilly).
Congrats to co-adventurers John Haslett and Cameron Smith on the publication of Wilderness Survival for Dummies. This is a book I’m tremendously proud of and you should also check out their hilarious promo video on YouTube.
I’m also pleased to announce one last “All-In-One” from the Dummies crew. Congrats to John Arnold, Ian Lurie, Marty Dickinson, Elizabeth Martin and Michael Becker on the publication of the Web Marketing All-in-One Desk Reference for Dummies.