Friday, February 20, 2015

Let's Try It Again

Going into 2013 I had some big numbers to both replicate and improve upon. My answer to the successful book Days Remembered was Maryland Exposed: Iconic Photography of The Baltimore Sun. This book would be a sequel in what ultimately would become a book trilogy. ME would again take advantage of the wealth of imagery in The Sun's newly digitized photo archive. Like with DR I had a skeleton crew to work with, so any content we used would need to be entirely repurposed. ME was a photo study of the different cultural aspects of Maryland. Each chapter in the 190-page book focused on a new theme ranging from: life in Annapolis, life on the Chesapeake Bay, Baltimore harbor, equestrian life, Maryland agriculture, weather and transportation.
The Darkroom: Iconic Photography from Seven Baltimore Sun Photographers would be the final chapter in the Baltimore Sun Iconic Photography trilogy. The Darkroom, a 190-page paperback, showcased the works of seven of award-winning Baltimore Sun photographers: Hans Marx, Richard Stacks, Robert F. Kniesche, William L. Klender, Ellis J. Malashuk, Walter McCardell and A. Aubrey Bodine.
Both books failed to captivate the public and generate customers or sales. Each book was sold on the Baltimore Sun Store's website for $19.99. Beginning in November and December I moved to bundle the two books with Days Remembered for a discounted price of $49.99. Customers bit for the holidays, and saved $10, but this wasn't enough to compete with the sales from DR in 2012.
Despite being good products Maryland Exposed and The Darkroom were severe let-downs and only generated $12,000 in total revenue. Was DR a one-time fluke? I needed to find out in 2014.
My responsibilities included:
  • P&L
  • Establishing deadlines
  • Assigning roles and responsibilities
  • Leading a team four individuals in multiple brainstorming sessions to conceive the book's theme
  • Research of material (i.e. photos and captions)
  • Selection of material (i.e. photos and captions)
  • Editing selected photos in PhotoShop per the designer's specifications
  • Working directly with a designer on the layout, design and cover design
  • Working with a copy editor to manage a proofreader
  • Selecting content to post on the Maryland Exposed landing page
  • Working with a web designer on the layout and design of the ME landing page
  • Working with the art department on the marketing and promotional content (i.e. print ads, online ads, emailed ads, social media)
  • Managed a clerk responsible for taking orders fulfilling them
  • Customer service
  • Sales and revenue tracking

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