Tag Archives: business

Book gets double-takes at TCCTA conference

10 Mar

A book that promises lust, violence and religion within its covers had some doing double-takes at TSTC Publishing’s exhibit booth at the recent Texas Community College Teachers Association conference in Houston.

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Web-Based Applications: Issuu

14 Mar

issuu-logo1One of the things that we’ve been looking for lately is a good online book previewer to integrate into the individual product pages at our e-commerce site (as well as using elsewhere as applicable). The first good application I remember coming across like this was Amazon.com’s system. Another one is used by National Academies Press. Both these systems, though, are proprietary and what we needed was a system that was robust enough for our purposes and, because we don’t have tons of money for a new stand-alone application or one off the shelf, at the right price.

Thankfully, I think we’ve finally found what we’re looking for with Issuu.

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Web 2.0 Social Networking: The Texas RV Professor Rides the Twitter Wave

6 Mar

cooper_headshot_resizedI’ll be the first to admit that personally I’m a pretty slow adopter of new technologies. I finally broke down and bought a cell phone barely two years ago (if it was even that far back). Until last year ago I still had my $9.95 a month dial-up Internet service. I’ve yet to hold a Kindle, much less read a book on one. A big part of it is that it’s hard to tell exactly what the Next Big Thing is vs. just the Next Big Hype and what’s worth your time vs. just being a waste of time. Plus, when talking about tech gadgets or Web-based applications, you have the tech geeks who love anything as long as it’s the absolutely newest thing around however impractical, convoluted, and/or nonsensical it may be. (In fact, they’ll love it all the more for being exactly those things.) Then you have your average (that is, normal) person who likes new applications/gadgets that are both simple and powerful.

Falling into this latter category, I will happily admit, is Twitter, which we got one of our authors, Terry Cooper (better known as The Texas RV Professor), set up on this week.

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Strategic Publishing Initiatives: Flat World Knowledge

1 Mar

Week before last it was time for the annual Texas Community College Teachers Association (TCCTA) Conference that was held this year in Austin, Texas. This was the third year in a row we’ve exhibited there and it was familiar yet still interesting. (Odds and ends of photos can be found here.) In the exhibit hall we visited with folks from the various TSTC colleges as well as with other people we’ve come to know from Cengage, Norton, American Technical Publishers, and Hampden.

A personal highlight was tagging along to a dinner that Thursday night with Dr. Eric Foner, historian extraordinaire, while, in a more practical sense, the most helpful (and surprising) thing that happened was my wife showing up unannounced in the exhibit hall Saturday morning with a couple of IKEA tall chairs for me and Lindsey to use. That is, if you sit in a regular chair at your booth it tends to make you look slouchy; however, standing on your feet all day is just murder. Murder! Last year we noticed that the president of ATP in the booth next to us used a tall chair—that way you’re at eye level while sitting down when people come up to the booth instead of looking like you’re working a garage sale waiting to make change in nickels for crazy people buying your junk—and we had talked about getting a couple of them; however, it took my blushing bride to actually pull the trigger on that.

Anyway, old home week, dinners, and tall chairs aside, the most interesting new thing I saw in the exhibit hall was the Flat World Knowledge booth.

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Blogs About Publishing: Life on Avenue Z

8 Jan

avenuezA big “thank you” goes out to Beth Ziesenis (that’s her in the photo to the left!) of Avenue Z Writing Solutions for letting me write a guest post today at her blog Life on Avenue Z. Beth is a freelance copywriter & editor out of San Diego, CA, who blogs about her newly founded career as a work-for-hire professional so, as  a kind of counterpoint, I wrote about working with freelancers from our perspective as book publishers here at TSTC Publishing. However, in all honesty, I wouldn’t rush over there to read what I had to say . . . instead, I’d suggest visiting Beth’s blog on a regular basis to get her take on the the ever hectic life of being a freelancer writer.

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Conference & Conventions: ACTE 2008 (Charlotte, NC) Wrap Up

6 Dec

acte-2008I had planned to blog each of the last three nights we (Lindsey and I) have been in Charlotte, NC, for the 2008 Association for Career & Technical Education convention, but the wireless Internet connection was so slow at night—although not in the mornings—at The Westin that it just wasn’t feasible. Then again, I’m such a nerd about getting to places ahead of time that, as always, I’ve gotten to the gotten to the gate for the flight out 2 1/2 hours ahead of time so it’s giving me a chance to get caught up now.

Much of this trip—our only one outside of Texas this year—was like most others: talk to folks, collect business cards to send out desk copies next week, elevate swollen feet at night  in the hotel room while watching old episodes of NCIS after standing around all day in the exhibit hall. Then again, also as always, there were some odds and ends of stuff that were enough different—“weird” or even that “out of the ordinary” would probably be overstating it—to remember for the future.

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Books About Publishing: The Merchants of Venus

4 Nov

Much to the ongoing dismay of my blushing bride I keep buying books at a rate that vastly exceeds my ability to read them. Moreover, as I travel around on various trips I always stop in at every Half Price Books I come across to see if they have any books on publishing, book design, and the like. It’s gotten to the point with these books that I don’t even get to bring them home; instead, they go straight to the office to get piled on a bookshelf there. (My rationale for this is that one of my dream of dreams would be to teach in a book publishing program some day and that these are necessary reference materials.) So that’s why one of the books that’s been kicking around in the back seat of my car for a while since I bought it is The Merchants of Venus: Inside Harlequin and the Empire of Romance by Paul Grescoe.

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