Announcing Community Conference Keynote Speaker:

We’re honored to announce that Brian O’Leary will be joining us as the keynote speaker at our Community Conference here in Newburyport– September 19th and 20th.

O’Leary is founder and principal of Magellan Media, a management consulting firm that works with publishers seeking support in content operations, benchmarking and financial analysis.

He writes extensively about issues affecting the publishing industry.  With Hugh McGuire, he edited, “Book: A Futurist’s Manifesto”, a collection of forward-looking essays on publishing that is published in three parts by O’Reilly Media. For the Book Industry Study Group, O’Leary also researched and wrote a recent assessment of the creation, use and modification of book publishing metadata.

O’Leary is also the author of a research report on the impact of free content and digital piracy on paid book sales, as well as the editor and primary contributor for a study of the use of XML in book publishing.  Both reports were published by O’Reilly Media in 2009.

Before becoming a consultant, O’Leary served as senior VP and associate publisher with Hammond Inc., an internationally recognized geographic reference publisher.  Responsible for database development, editorial content, production, and operations, he restructured editorial operations to benefit from the firm’s prior technology investments.

O’Leary came toHammondafter a 12-year career overseeing production and distribution operations at several of Time Inc.’s weekly magazines.  He earned an A.B. in chemistry fromHarvardCollegeand an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.

Firebrand Founder and Chief Igniter, Fran Toolan has this to say of O’Leary: Brian is one of the most incisive people following book publishing today.  He is also someone who uses real data to come to his conclusions about what works and what doesn’t in publishing. For the past few years, Brian has become recognized as a clear voice of reason during a turbulent time in publishing.

We’re very pleased to welcome Brian aboard for the conference, and are excited to host all of our guests in what promises to be a couple of informative, and thought provoking days of what’s working and what isn’t in the ever-evolving landscape of publishing. This conference is all about community. If you have topic ideas you’d like to hear discussed, we’re all ears.

Enjoy the Summer, and join us in the Fall!


AAUP 2012

AAUP 2012 is officially underway in Chicago!  At the opening receptions (yes plural), it was great to reconnect with lots of friends and make some new ones.


Before I left for Chicago, Chris gave me handful of invitations to the community conference that I have been busily handing out. I know he’s going to want me to recall who I gave them to, but that might not be so easy.

Firebrand works with 25 university presses, and they are an important segment of our business, and they are all nice people to boot.  Even though everyone I spoke with is excited by the program at AAUP, many can’t wait to come to Newburyport for the first time, or for a return trip.

I’m looking forward to handing out my entire quota of invitations while I’m here… I just hope I remember who I gave them to!

BEA is Here!

Stop by and say hello to the Firebrand Team at Booth #4470! The theme for our stand this year is “Ask Burnie!”

There will be many of us on hand to meet with old and new friends.

Booth #4470

From Firebrand Technologies:

Fran Toolan, Doug Lessing, Rob Stevens, Steve Rutberg, Jen Lyman, and Matt Toolan

From NetGalley:

Susan Ruszala, Lindsey Rudnickas, Kristina Radke, and Mary Pratt

From Firebrand Associates:

Don Linn, and Tim Cooper

I’ll let you in on a little hint – you should stop by the booth on Tuesday, you might be in for a pleasant surprise!

Don’t forget to Register for the Community Conference on September 19th!