Why Sullivan Street Press Will March on September 21 in NYC
Next month, on September 21, a large march will be taking place in NYC. This march has a purpose—to show those world leaders coming to the UN for a climate conference the real numbers of people who care about the fate of this planet. In February, 2013, we marched as well, in Washington, DC for the same purpose, to express our concern for the fate of this planet.
Here is an article I wrote shortly after that march to explain why I think publishers need to be at the forefront of this movement. I share it now so we can begin alerting publishers that their actions matter.
Perhaps you’ve also wondered why the publishing industry produces and distributes all the major climate science information available but doesn’t read it. If it did, publishing could become the standard bearer for global reduction of carbon footprints. This business challenge and its opportunities for growth would benefit everyone.
Publishing, even in its unique position of having catalogues of books and journals detailing the dangers as well as the solutions, seems impervious to what it produces. As to why, we can ignore that question for now. The world can’t wait for our soul searching. But simply stated, how we produce all books has been separated from what we produce. Therefore we’re never prepared to take our own advice.
Now we are in a situation that must be addressed: if we as an industry and a planet will survive. In order to reduce our carbon footprint, part of the solution to this global crisis, we are in a most enviable position to do that, and not next year but now.
E-book production on a much larger scale as well as a massive cutback in the production of bound books will make a huge difference in our collective carbon footprint. The production and distribution of e-books has so many positive benefits for the planet while also greatly reducing costs. Just a cursory listing of these benefits: decrease in removal of old forest growth, decrease in fuel consumption for transport, decrease in land and water used in the storage and creation of physical books. Start there and begin to look at this picture in terms of dollars as well as taking that leap into the new technologies we now possess and/or are creating for e-books and this challenge proves most exciting.
As we all know, e-books are allowing for faster, cheaper production but also a cheaper way to reprint, update, and correct all material published. It allows for cheaper storage and sharing and is being improved upon daily. Yes, as with all change there is resistance and problems that need our attention.
Let’s turn our attention instead to also investing in alternative sources of energy. Websites can be run off servers that are solar- and wind-powered. There’s no wait time needed for this transfer from fossil fuel-produced electricity to wind and solar power. Large wind farms and solar plants already exist. The servers can be hooked into them. While these changes in energy consumption may seem trivial in terms of finances, they are stupendous in terms of our need for severely reducing carbon footprints.
I don’t know why the publishing industry resembles a doctor who won’t take her own advice. It seems like such a foolish waste of our human capital, along with the planet’s. Hanging onto the past by denying the present is a terrible business model. We have all the means necessary to correct this if we plan on remaining in a sustainable future.
I am pleased to announce that Sullivan Street Press is embarking on a new marketing team (the Sullivan Street Team), a group of 40 who will help us to sell 100,000 copies of all our titles within the next year. 40 for 100,000.
Yes, an impressive goal. Become a member of the Sullivan Street Team so you can help Sullivan Street Press fulfill its mission–to change the publishing paradigm–by creating a new form of e-books that are really book apps. The future for all book publishers, as I see it, is to create communities of engaged readers, who share the goals of the authors, who want to reach out to others in the book world with similar goals and bridge the divides we experience when working to make this planet a better place to live.
These new book apps designed to work on smart phones and tablets will cost money to develop. The good news about this type of development is that once we have a prototype, we’ll have what we need for all the books we subsequently publish.
Most companies rely on “Kickstarter” campaigns to fund their new ideas. Sullivan Street Press wants to have a different relationship to those who fund our work. We want to work with those already engaged in the work we do, who see things much as we do and want to help others see this new type of participatory activism. We want the sales of our books to drive the mission forward so that when we develop the book apps, there are those who know exactly why we are moving forward in this way.
Traditionally, start ups use venture capitalists to invest huge sums of money to get their ideas to market. The “value” of this kind of work is to get to the stage where Wall Street will be interested.
Sullivan Street Press sees the way forward in a very different light. By selling our books to as wide an audience as possible, it will be the ideas each of our authors shares that will drive this campaign.
If you want to become one of the 40 for 100,000, that is you want to donate one hour per week to get the word out about the books we publish to a large book buying world, encouraging them to buy the books and to do even more, then please contact me. Dedicated people who love to use social media to network and engage are who we need. Though, not everyone is comfortable using social media to educate and inform.
If your strength is getting our authors’ books into libraries and bookstores and setting up events, then you too would be a valuable member of the Sullivan Street Team.
This is a serious campaign with real goals and real rewards for meeting the goals.
Please, ASK ME. If you want to be one of the 40 for 100,000, let me know and we can put you on the Sullivan Street Team.