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Big Bad Weekly Tip: Social Networking Timesavers

September 8, 2009

Weekly-Tip-2101If you've started to use social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) for book promotion, which we recommend for most authors in varying degrees, you may find yourself wondering how you’re going to keep all of your profiles updated. As you start to add additional networks, posting the same thing in multiple places can begin to feel tedious and burdensome. Not to worry—there are, of course, online tools that can help you manage your online tools. Here are some free tools that allow you to easily post a single message to multiple social media accounts all at once:

For more information on the capabilities of these types of tools, check out this article from Computer World. Don’t let your online networks get the best of you!

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The Importance of Font: IKEA and Verdana

September 4, 2009

200px-Ikea_logo.svgIn case you missed it, the Internet went mad last week when IKEA, the design-savvy Swedish furniture manufacturer, switched the font used in its catalog from Futura, which it had used for over fifty years, to Verdana, a font that was created by Microsoft for reading on a computer screen—and which many contend does not work at all in print. Twitter and the blogosphere exploded with viral disgust over the decision, and design consultant Marius Ursache started a petition asking IKEA to drop the font, eventually gathering over 3,000 signatures. Today, Twitter is still buzzing with re-Tweets about the petition posted by font nerds and remarks like this one from @dvdwlsh: "This honestly HURT me to read. IKEA DESTROYS element of its identity." (There is, however, a backlash to the backlash; @idrathernot says: "futura is a pretentious snob! long live verdana, the workers' font! #ikea #iheartverdana".)

IKEA has responded that it believes the backlash comes mainly from typography experts, and that the general public doesn't really notice this type of thing. But that discounts how widespread the displeasure about the Verdana switch is, and the subconscious effect that design details can have even on typography illiterates. We've mentioned that this type of thing is important before. Here's a great case in point. Your book may never achieve the distribution levels of the IKEA catalog (it is often advertised as the most widely printed book in the world), but do pay attention to font—and never, ever, ever use Papyrus.

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Greenleaf Book Group in Forbes magazine

September 2, 2009

imagesWe're excited! We have a full-page article in the September 7 issue of Forbes (p. 58). In addition to featuring a shot of our CEO, Clint Greenleaf, sitting among a jumbled pile of books sans footwear, the article describes how our model works—and how it is competing with the big, traditional publishing houses. You can pick up a copy of Forbes at the nearest newsstand, or just check it out online.

The article also mentions that we've been hiring (even as many others were laying off), and that we plan to continue adding valuable people to our team. If you're interested in learning more, drop on by workatgreenleaf.com.

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Peace of Mind for Independent Publishers: Insurance to Cover Your Liability as an Independent Publisher

September 2, 2009

Weekly-Tip-210Every time you publish a book, article, or blog, you become a potential target for a lawsuit. To protect yourself, you might consider looking into media liability insurance. There are other options available, but a good place to start is the new automated WriteInsure™ program from the Publiability Division of Argo Insurance Brokers, Inc. WriteInsure is an affordable media perils insurance program that was designed specifically for independent authors, small publishers, bloggers, and freelance writers. WriteInsure offers limits of liability insurance protection from $100,000 each claim with a $300,000 aggregate all the way up to and including $1,000,000. The WriteInsure policy provides traditional media perils such as, but not limited to, libel, plagiarism, piracy, copyright infringement, defamation, infringement of the right of privacy or publicity, outrage, infliction of emotional distress, misappropriation of property rights, and much more. Importantly, legal defense costs are also included. Visit www.publiability.com and then click on the WriteInsure link to start an online application, or click here to download their FAQ and learn more.

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Introducing the Big Bad Story Contest!

August 26, 2009

WePicture 1're excited to announce the Big Bad Story Contest, a new program that will give promising high school students in the Austin community a chance to become published authors. We'll be inviting schools within the Austin city limits to submit their top essays and short stories composed by students in 9th–12th grades for consideration in the contest. Each school will identify two finalists, and from these finalists our editors will select several stories and essays to be published in an anthology of young voices, which will be made available in retail outlets.

The contest officially begins in January 2010, and submissions to the contest must be submitted to Greenleaf Book Group on or by March 29, 2010. Submissions must be less than 5,000 words.

The contest is designed to get young people writing creatively—and give the winners the first taste of being published (and a credit that could help them as they look toward college.) We'll be donating a portion of the profit from sales of the anthology to a local non-profit organization, to be determined by the start of the contest. Interested schools and non-profits should contact Chris McRay at chris@greenleafbookgroup.com or 512.891.6100.

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