Tag Archives: self publishing

Joel Naoum: #Robinpedia 

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Who is Joel Naoum? A man, yes. A human being, yes. A carbon based lifeform, yes. But is there more to him than being a mamal and living on Earth? The answer will surprise you, for it is yes.

Naoum began his life as child to Australian writer Dianne Blacklock (can’t find her on Wikipedia so rest assured she will be getting her very own Robinpedia entry). Sitting by her side he absorbed a love of books but as a social butterfly he could not see fit to cocoon his radiance in the solitary world of authorship. One year his mother took him to the Sydney Writers’ Festival  (why yes I am a volunteer, how can I help) and he found that despite being introduced to cool authors such Andy Griffiths and Garth Nix he was himself more attracted to the lurking representatives from the publishing houses. A fire was ignited within the belly of the young Naoum and he set his heart upon joining the publishing industry. 

Pan MacMillan gave Naoum his first job in the publishing sphere. He both horrified and delighted his interviewer by telling her about his love of the new technology ebooks (he’s older than he looks, it was new back then). She loved his innovative approach, she did not so much love that he somehow had an illegal electronic copy of one of Pan MacMillan’s titles. He did not know it was illegal prior to this point and does not recommend it as an interview strategy.  Fortunately he still got the job.

Not only did Naoum get the job but he thrived. He was awarded the Unwin Fellowship and was able to travel to the UK and learn all about the innovative things UK publishers were doing in epublishing. He spent three months in the UK learning the secret business of a variety of publishing houses.

After his fellowship ended and Naoum returned to Australia he was selected to head up Pan MacMillan’s digital first imprint, Momentum. Their original goal was to still be able to publish mid list authors that there was no longer shelf space for after the collapse of Boarders. Because they love authors and stuff. The focus of Momentum changed as they came to realise that the ebooks that sold well were more genre based such as romance, crime and spec fic, not so much literary Australiana. Just quietly, e also love their self help and parenting books. In order to make money the imprint had to switch from its original purpose. Over a 5 year period Momentum put out 450 titles.

Naoum, still committed to the digital world has now setup his own company, Critical Mass. This is mainly a self-publishing consultancy firm that helps self published authors get in touch with editors, designers, and gives marketing advice. He will also help people looking to traditional publish polish their pitches. He is there for you.

In addition to this Critical Mass, Naoum has designed a course for The New South Wales Writers’ Centre, where he is a board member, that actually publishes student’s work. It is open to people with completed and edited manuscripts. Naoum then takes students through cover design, formating, connecting with a distributor, and finally, actually hitting publish and getting a print copy into their hands.

Jump onto Joel’s website here.
Chat with him on twitter here.

Find out more about Robinpedia here.

Read about The New South Wales Writers’ Centre Stick here.

Buy my shit here.

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Lou Johnson: #Robinpedia

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[Note: I am dyslexic so grammar nazis should run while they  still can.]

Lou Johnson is a standout figure in the Australian publishing industry. Some people would say that she has publishing in her blood as her father was a prominent figure in Granada Publishing Ltd and her mother was a publicist and literary agent. Together, her parents set up their own publishing company and bookshop. Lou Johnson probably learned more about the publishing industry over family dinners than most of us will  learn in a lifetime. 

Lou Johnson, impressive publishing lineage aside, has became a dominant figure in her own right. After leaving journalism she joined Harper Collins‘ sales team, where she progressed up the ranks. A lateral move saw her working on the national management of our  ABC Centres, and then back into publishing with a senior role at Random House. Her next position was with Allen & Unwin where she was the sales director. Later she became the managing director of Simon and Schuster.

In 2014 Lou Johnson left mainstream publishing and in 2015 began Author People. Author People was created to be more in touch with readers. At its essence was building the relationship between authors and readers. It is focused on three main types of writing; lived experience, stories to entertain, and knowledge to share. Books from the Author People are infused with fairy dust to ensure top quality. This is possibly a metaphor but I’d prefer to take it literally. (I believe.)  Author People is currently not taking on new authors, but is always fabulous to watch for the innovative work being done with its existing bank of authors.

In late 2016  Lou Johnson accepted the position of publishing director for Murdoch Books. The Australian publishing industry is watching with great anticipation as this innovative person steps back into traditional publishing. We’re certainly prepared for a shake up.

Find Lou Johnson on twitter here.

Find her website for Author People here.

Find Author People on Twitter here.

Find Author People on Facebook here.

Find Murdoch Books here.

If you have any additional information about this entry please leave it in the comment section.

Learn more about Robinpedia here. 

I’ve Started a Support Group… For MYSELF!

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Full confession, I am a chronic self sabotager and procrastinator of the highest order. I’ve had both Book Club Part 3 and Confessions of a Mad Mooer sitting, ready, waiting to go to the copy editor and haven’t sent them. Every time I go to send them I have an anxiety attack, feel like I’m going to have a heart attack, and my stomach fills with acid. I’ve read through them both many times, I am happy with them, others have read them, likewise happy, and yet I couldn’t bring myself to hit send. This week I did it. I did it by setting myself a ridiculously hard goal to achieve which has lit a fire under the seat of my pants… I’m currently pantsless with a scorched A.

I have a dream, to hand the great JByrne a print copy of Confessions of a Mad Mooer, my recap of my time in the psychiatric hospital with postnatal depression, at the final taping of the Book Club ABC for this year. And by give, I mean leap over security and throw it at her screaming, “I love you,” before dashing off ninja style into the night. It’s in December. Luckily I engaged my cover artist months ago, before the dread sunk in, so I’m not completely toast. But given my self sabotagesque approach to life I have started a support group for myself on FB called Self Sabotage and Procrastination to get me through.

Yes, you read right, I’ve started a support group, not for the good of a marginalised group, for myself. I am a wretched toad of a thing. It’s a place we’re people can yell encouraging things at me, suggest blurbs, tell my cover artist that she’s a genius, read the draft, and generally be nice, to make me feel good and not dissolve into a puddle of self loathing.

So… hopefully in December I’ll have some pretty books that you can buy AND high self esteem. Wouldn’t that be nice? (Crawls off to corner and sobs.)