Steven Spatz

Steven Spatz
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Steven Spatz is a writer, marketer, and the President of BookBaby, the nation’s leading self publishing services company. Spatz’s professional writing career began at age 13, paid by the word to bang out little league baseball game stories on an ancient manual typewriter for southern Oregon weekly newspapers. His journalism career continued after graduation from the University of Oregon at several daily newspapers in Oregon. When his family took over a direct marketing food business, Spatz redirected his writing and design skills into producing catalogs. The Pinnacle Orchards catalog was named "Best Food Catalog," received dozens of other national awards, and the business grew into one of the nation’s largest gourmet fruit gift businesses. After the company was sold, Spatz continued his direct marketing career with Fortune 500 companies including Mattel and Hasbro. He joined AVL Digital in 2004 to lead the direct-to-consumer marketing teams for music industry-leading brands Disc Makers, Oasis, and CD Baby. After serving as Chief Marketing Officer, Spatz was tapped to lead the company’s new publishing division in late 2014. In 2019, the AVL Digital Management team purchased the New Jersey brands, including BookBaby. The company is headquartered in Pennsauken, NJ (just outside Philadelphia, PA) and meets the printed book and eBook needs of thousands of self-publishing authors around the globe. Spatz lives in Glenside, PA with his two children, a demented cat, and some well-used bicycles. Steven loves to hear from authors, editors, and publishers in the BookBaby community with tales of publishing trials and triumphs. To tell him your story, write to steven@bookbaby.com.

Giving back: how you can help your community, fellow writers, and beyond

Charitable writers giving back to communityA list of ways writers can put their skills to extra-good use this holiday season

Self publishing continues to grow and evolve at a rapid pace. Yet even as new trends or topics pop up on an almost daily basis, we’re starting to gain some understanding about this very young industry and the way it works. Some of these discoveries are not all that surprising (for example: authors’ increasing need for book marketing and promotional help). Other truths were not so predictable, like this news item: as of July 2014, self-published authors are now earning nearly 40% of all eBook royalties on the Kindle store, per the Author Earnings Report. One of the nicest surprises for me has been learning about the makeup of the people in this fascinating industry. As a whole, the people I’ve met or corresponded with are literate (given!), smart, interesting and ambitious. But there’s another shared trait that stands out. In a word, the writing community is generous. The need to give back is strong amongst writers, publishers and everyone else in our industry.

Smart self publishing: it comes down to people

Self-publishing with BookBabyThe iPhone alarm shrieks far too early in the morning. I fumble to turn it off and then switch the TV on with the Comcast app. Brrrrr… it’s freezing. A glance at my weather app confirms it’s the coldest morning of the year thus far. Another phone app controls the heat and I crank it up a few notches. A few minutes later I’m heading downstairs, working the remote starter app to warm up my car. Hm. Do I need to take a lunch? I open my calendar to check today’s schedule…. And so it goes in my wired day. Yeah, I love me some technology! Couldn’t live without it now. And without the relentless advance of technology, companies like BookBaby wouldn’t be around. Yet if you were to ask me what the real secret behind BookBaby’s success is, it wouldn’t have an on/off switch. Last week I offered up the concept of “books without boundaries” and how our approach toward eBook globalization is a pillar of our business. And here’s another one:

People Powered Publishing.

distribution beyond Amazon

Books Without Boundaries: Why Distribution Beyond Amazon Matters

Great content can't reach a large audience without a distribution network. If you're a self-published author, you need book distribution beyond Amazon to cast your net as wide as you can.

Let’s talk: tell us about your adventures in writing and publishing

BookBaby wants to hear from youWhat’s the very best thing about my new job as President of BookBaby? That’s easy – it’s getting the chance to interact with the BookBaby community of authors, publishers, editors and many others. It’s hearing from people like Caleb Mason who wrote me last week:
I just wanted to let you know I have used (BookBaby) for all the books I publish under my imprint Publerati and have been very impressed with the helpfulness of your staff there. I recommend you every opportunity I get. I had a notion of what I wanted to do when starting out. But without BookBaby none of what I am doing would have gotten off the ground, so my thanks are genuinely felt. And your staff is among the best I have dealt with anywhere.
Caleb founded Publerati in 2011 and quickly assembled an impressive collection of fiction from a diverse group of authors, from debut novelists to writers drawing praise from the New York Times Book Review and Oprah’s O magazine. Publerati proclaims its list of Core Beliefs on its website starting with “A love of writing and reading fosters empathy.”

Authors, leave your literary success up to something other than luck

Literary successBookPromo makes the hard work of book promotion a lot easier

“What the internet and e-reading devices have done is open the world up to storytellers to be in charge of their own careers.” So said mega bestselling author Hugh Howey in a recent discussion at Book Expo America in New York. He was one of my speakers on a panel I moderated advising first-time authors, and he shared some thoughts for writers hoping to get noticed in today’s digital landscape. “How hard you are willing to work and how hard you are willing to study and practice are the only limiting factor these days,” said Howey. “Luck will always play a part, but her role has been diminished.” That’s a perfect summary of why BookBaby has worked so hard to create and develop BookPromo for all our authors. I’m pleased to announce the newest additions – targeted direct-to-reader advertising opportunities -- to this powerful suite of tools and services was unveiled today. You can read much more about it HERE. And as always, BookPromo is a free package for all BookBaby authors.

The future is bright for self published authors

upublishu eventA couple of Saturdays ago in the concrete basement of the Jacob Javits Convention Center, I witnessed the future for our BookBaby authors. And it looks mighty bright. This vision came to me while sitting behind BookBaby’s table during the annual uPublishU event, a  how-to conference for writers, both striving and thriving. It’s held in conjunction with the gigantic Book Expo America in New York City. Upstairs the usual book people strolled through acres of BEA exhibits on the main convention floor during the last day of the show. Meanwhile I was downstairs in the basement bunker with 800+ writers and exhibitors enjoying lectures and discussions by a who’s who of self publishing. I even moderated a panel featuring indie author superstar Hugh Howey that explored both traditional and self publishing paths.
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How Much Should You Charge for Your eBook?

Cruise any of the writer’s forums on the Internet and you’re bound to find a log of discussions on the topic of the optimal eBook price.

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