Sunday, July 4, 2010

Publishing in Today's Fast-Changing Multimedia Landscape

What does it mean to "publish" in today's fast-changing multimedia landscape? You can be a journalist overnight by starting a blog on, say, grammar, as lawyer-turned-publisher Margie Blumberg has. You can work with a New York editor, as Margie Blumberg does with Emma Walton Hamilton, who is Editorial Director of The Julie Andrews Collection. And you can publish traditionally in the form of hardcover & softcover books – or in new and emerging formats, like iPad, Kindle and iPhone App – all of which Ms. Blumberg is doing with a charming line of bunny books, a grammar guide book, and a Jewish-interest story inspired by true stories of friends and family near her home in Bethesda, Maryland.

Options abound and there are no wrong answers. But it's a matter of finding the right resources, bravely exploring new territory and setting standards to produce a quality product. Easy when you have dedicated creative and R&D departments, more challenging when you're an individual. Blumberg's fairly new into the game, but her first MB Publishing company picture book, Sunny Bunnies, received a Mom's Choice Gold Award for Bedtime Stories and her non-fiction guidebook, The Scoop on Good Grammar, received a Mom's Choice Gold Award for Educational Products. She has published two hardcover picture books (Sunny Bunnies and Avram's Gift – also in paperback) and a non-fiction e-book (The Scoop on Good Grammar – tied to her weekly blog on the topic), and she has licensed two picture books, available in the iTunes App store (Breezy Bunnies – released in April - and Sunny Bunnies - a late June release) through PicPocketBooks. Breezy Bunnies and Sunny Bunnies are also available for iPad, and the books are in development for other formats.

According to Blumberg, "It's not easy without some foundation, but it is exciting and rewarding. It probably helped that I had gotten a patent for an electronic memory pad back in 2008, so I had a context for understanding the technology going in. I had also co-authored a Shakespeare biography for kids for the Chicago Review Press and had done my own recipe desk calendar years ago, so I knew the process and what I wanted to achieve."

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