Business of Craft Episode 69 Steve Koenig on Selling Books in a Digital Age


My guest today Stephen Koenig is the co-founder of Sommer Street Associates, a publishing intermediary working to connect craft publishers and retailers utilizing a whole new model. Steve is also adept at building audiences, monetizing content and helping digital brands grow to their fu

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#1 I think in order to understand where our discussion will progress today, we need to set the stage for our listeners by telling them about how craft publishing used to be? Can you take us back in the time machine say 15 years and paint a picture of how that looked? [1:55]

#2 And your new business, Sommer street associates you launched in 2019 with your business partner Meghan. How is Sommer Street different than what you just described? [4:48]

#3 When we spoke at TNNA last year you were telling me about some of the different kinds of benefits to both brands and retailers with this model. Can you elaborate on that a bit? [10:40]

#4 What are you seeing in terms of the digital landscape when it comes to books? How is that changing when it comes to complementing a printed book? [20:05]

#5 Are you starting to see video as a complement to a printed book? [25:15]

#6 Do you have any advice for designers and authors? If they wanted to leave this earth with a book in print, what advice do you have for them to get started? [26:54]

#7 How do you know the difference between a traditional and independent publisher? [29:16]

#8 Tell our listeners about your Independent Authors Online Shop. Is that something independent authors can contact you about or how do they get started becoming involved with Sommer Street? [31:09]

#9 Are there resources available to assist independent authors self-publish? [32:50]

#10 You have a lot of experience as a content strategist. How do you think about craft marketing now through the lens of content strategy? What do you see that’s working? [34:27]

#11 What do you envision the biggest challenges are going to be for printed media retailers in the craft space and what’s your advice for overcoming those hurdles? [37:38]

#12 So, I always ask my guests a quirky question and for you it has to be about books since you’ve been involved in books your entire career. So I’ve got two questions. First, what is the wackiest book idea you’ve ever seen or been involved in? [42:21]

#13 And second, are you an aspiring author? If so, what is the book you’d bring into the world? [44:20]