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Posts Tagged ‘Holtzbrinck’

Holtzbrinck Gets Into Podcasting in a Big Way

PW Daily’s Rachel Deahl reports on Quick and Dirty Tips, an online network of downloadable audio snippets just launched today by Holtzbrinck. The move marks the first attempt by a publisher to establish a money making podcast business and features Grammar Girl‘s Mignon Fogarty as well as five other podcasters who, according to Holtzbrinck, have collectively been downloaded more than 10 million times. The site will generate revenue through online ads and content licensing agreements.

Publicist Claire McKinney confirmed to PW that the hosts – some of whom Holtzbrinck brought into the fold and others who were brought on by Fogarty – are established, to varying degrees, in the podcast world. The first additional podcaster, a Harvard M.B.A. named Stever Robbins, will be added to the site in September, to host a show about what the house dubbed “personal productivity” called Get It Done Guy. When asked how this business model differs from other podcasting sites, Richard Rohrer, Holt’s director of marketing (who also has the new title of executive producer for quickanddirtytips.com), said other sites are a “catch all” for audio content. Not so with Holtzbrinck’s venture. “Each podcast gives one piece of actionable advice,” he explained. “You don’t have that consistency of purpose with any other podcasting-dedicated site.”

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Finally, FSG Gets a New Home

Unlike the rest of its Holtzbrinck-owned publishing siblings housed at the Flatiron, Farrar, Straus and Giroux has called Union Square home since 1961. But, as PW’s Dermot McEvoy reports, the literary house will move to 18 West 18th Street – a few stones’ throw from the Flatiron – by the end of the year. “We’ve been talking about it for probably a year and a half or so,” FSG president Jonathan Galassi told PW. “When leases loom, you have to start thinking.”

Moving to the Flatiron was never in the cards, even if there had been space to work with. “It was never contemplated that we were going to be in the Flatiron Building,” said Galassi. “We’ve always had our own address.” And the new address will come with more space. “Now we’re on three floors; we’ll be on two larger floors. We’re taking raw space and creating our own offices out of it so we’ll be able to organize the relationships of the departments better, to have more communication flow, more efficient use of space. So it should be a much more livable and comfortable environment.”

Publishers Get Into the Speakers’ Bureau Game

At the New York Times, Celia McGee highlights the growing number of publishers who have set up separate speakers’ bureaus for select authors. In the last two years, several major publishing houses have set up speakers bureaus. HarperCollins was the first, in May 2005, followed by Random House (which outsourced its program to the American Program Bureau rather than build its own.) Knopf and Penguin established in-house speakers bureaus in 2006, and two other publishers, Holtzbrinck and the Hachette Book Group, may do the same.

A speakers bureau “goes beyond the traditional marketing opportunities,” said Jamie Brickhouse, who heads the HarperCollins enterprise. “It’s a way for authors to continue to raise their profiles and reach new audiences. It’s great for the frontlist and for the backlist, and has brought new life to authors who don’t have an ongoing book push.” The fees charged by such bureaus for authors (like James Swanson, left) can be steep – from $5000 to $35,000 an appearance depending on the author’s status. But some, like PW editor-in-chief Sara Nelson, expressed concern with the trend, worried that it put too much pressure on authors to hone their presentation skills, potentially at the expense of their literary development. “If whether you’re able to sell yourself as a speaker is part of finding a publisher or not concerns me,” she said.