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Walrus Who, What, Where, When, How

1. Who are WalrusInk?
We are the founding Mothers and Fathers of Collegium Walrusium.

a. Five Publishing Professionals with Shared Values
WalrusInk is comprised of five founding partners who are passionate about good writing, new technology, and 21st century publishing. We’ve reached this point along very different routes, but are bound by our desire to work together with smart contributors as an independent ePublishing company in pursuit of quality and driven by a moral sense of fairness.

b. Clay Andres, Publisher & Walrus-in-Chief
I have both broad and deep experience and have worked in various aspects of publishing for over 20 years. Two things stick out in my experience. First, I have been a journalist, author, designer, agent, and editor, which means that I’ve covered most positions on the publishing playing field. Second, and less obviously, I have been successful in each role and for every publisher I’ve worked for, generating considerable sales and large amounts of cash. I really do understand the business of publishing in addition to knowing firsthand about the roles and responsibilities of the players involved.

In addition to my experience in publishing, I am technology savvy and have a sense of design and aesthetics that I like to think translates into a desire to create quality works at every level. I have not let my past as an architect and designer go forgotten, and from my time studying computer science at the graduate level, I have at least an understanding for the vocabulary and theoretical basis of technology subjects. And I work well with authors.

c. The Principals, Walrus Gang-of-Four
We are all publishing professionals; writers, editors, and managers. We are deepest in editorial experience and all have a strong sense of what makes a good book worth buying. More basically, we are all well-educated and annoyingly literate. For instance, I believe we have all done at least some graduate work, but in a hodgepodge of subjects. Despite a diversity of educations, we have all worked almost entirely in the technology sector and in technology publishing. Specifically, we have the collective experience and expertise to acquire and develop titles that are anywhere from the most deeply technical to the opposite end of the savviness spectrum, including consumer titles.

We also share some common work experiences. For instance, we have all been part of startups, both successful and less so. Some of us have worked with venture capital and lived through boom and bust periods. I believe we’ve also all worked for large, bureaucratic organizations. Places such as IBM, Apple, Stanford University, as well as some of the larger publishers in the world. Some of us have been managers, experienced the joys of budgeting and fiscal responsibility, and we’ve all dealt with project management with far-flung groups of participants. Some of us are even multi- and poly-lingual.

2. What will WalrusInk be Publishing?
Tech titles, for starters; it’s what we know best. Then fiction, textbooks, and anything interesting that can be turned into a richly rewarding reading/audio/visual/interactive experience

a. Experience, Subject Expertise, & Target Markets
We’ve identified a list of key publishing targets based on our interests, collective knowledge, and the markets we see as most promising. These include all things Apple, most things Google, and many things Open Source; the Web, including Web standards, tools for developers and tools for designers, and the Mobile Web; and that most nebulous of all pseudo-technologies, the cloud.

In a way, these are all technologies that have contributed to the demise of print publishing in favor of ePublishing. By the same token, we see these technologies, which might most easily be summarized as ubiquitous computing, leading to the current shift in computing—did someone say iPad?

b. Tech subjects of interest and timeliness

  • Mac OS X both developer and consumer
  • iOS both developer and consumer
  • Web Standards and tools for both developers and designers
  • Open source across a range of developer and administrative tools
  • Android, which is so deeply segmented that it’s hard to get any sort of clarity about how best to approach it
  • Cloud computing from developer, open source, and consumer points of view
  • A collection of hotter subjects, such as social networking, geo-awareness, and other cool stuff

c. Our eReaders, WalrusInk customers and their devices

  • Independent, forward-thinking developers
  • Highly-mobile professionals
  • Tech-savvy consumers

Anyone fond of the eReading experience, which currently spans a very large gamut from basic Kindles and Color Nooks, to Web-delivered PDFs on computers of all sizes, and including a remarkable range of mobile devices running iOS, Android, and some other operating systems.

3. Where in the World is WalrusInk?
The entity that is WalrusInk is far-flung and exists at the far reaches of the virtual universe. We like to think that our friends and partners define the “where” of WalrusInk.

a. WalrusInk Authors, Partners
WalrusInk authors are brave and strong, gentle and kind, and models of beauty and sobriety. WalrusInk authors are also human, and try as they may, not a one will ever leap a tall building in a single bound. WalrusInk authors are like all authors, they feel the need to write, have a passion for writing, and they have something to say that wants to be written.

Perhaps you see yourself as a person who fits this description, which is good. It’s even better if you feel passionately so, so passionate that you just have to express what you have to say using a methodology less transient and more trenchant than a blog or tweet.

We, the collective editors and publisher of WalrusInk, suggest you write your eBook, for this is obviously the modern medium of choice, with us. As ePublishers to smart, interesting authors, we welcome you to join the Collegium WalrusInkium. Send us your ideas, outlines, proposals, chapters, articles, questions, concerns, or anything you’d like to share as a means to get the ball rolling.

Let’s talk and discover together how best to create an ongoing conversation that leads to a constructive partnership and a productive outcome.

b. Strategic WalrusInk Partnerships
In addition to “partnering” with our authors, WalrusInk is actively associating with other like-minded groups to expand our offerings. These “strategic partnerships” will help us transcend basic eReading and allow us to develop content for richer forms of ePublishing. This includes other forms of media, such as audio, animation, and video, and interactive capabilities. It will also involve the creation of application-based content for delivery to mobile devices running various operating systems.

c. Friends of WalrusInk
We are fortunate to have many friends interested in the future of WalrusInk. Not all of these friends have the time or desire to become publishing partners, but we welcome their suggestions, advice, and constructive criticisms nonetheless. This keeps us attached to and in touch with experts in many communities, keeping WalrusInk looking ever forward in a knowledgeable way. We value these friendships and count this group as official “Friends of WalrusInk.”

4. When will WalrusInk?
The future is now and it reaches well beyond the limits of our collective imagination.

a. Unburdened Freedom to Make Good Books, Now!
We intend to seize this opportunity and are ready to get to work, immediately. Moving too slowly is the greater risk, so we are digging in and doing what we do best, which is simply making good books.

Not only do we know how to make good books, we’re passionate about it, and we enjoy doing it with knowledgable, talented authors who are similarly passionate. We are already working with author-partners to start our book-making balls rolling and intend to be publishing our first titles in the first few months of 2011.

b. Unfettered Freedom to Make Good Books More Efficiently
ePublishing is most obviously faster than print publishing, which gives us an enormous speed advantage. We can have books finished and ready for purchase with much greater efficiency than has ever been possible before.

In addition to a faster, more streamlined process, eBooks can be shorter and more precisely targeted, which we believe works more effectively in the eBook marketplace. This combination of speedy delivery and an agile marketplace gives us the ability to cover large, complex topics with a series of shorter titles. Just another example of the opportunities ePublishing provides.

5. How can WalrusInk?
We embrace fundamental change as the ePublishing prerogative

a. Out with the old
WalrusInk begins operations without any of the heavyweight baggage that has created the publishing status quo. The costs of printing, marketing, sales, warehousing, and distribution eat up a significant portion of book revenues and add extra weeks and often months to a books launch date.

b. In with the new
ePublishing has none of the manufacturing overhead that plays such a large part in traditional publishing. Many of the traditional editorial and business models developed by publishers through the 20th century and still in use are optimized to minimize the limitations and expenses of printing books. As a result, many publishers feel that they have a vested interested in the status quo and find the whole idea ePublishing threatening.

c. 21st century  publishing
We don’t see these changes as threatening and dispose of the worn-out models of publishing without regret. All of us at WalrusInk welcome the new opportunities that ePublishing provides and fully embrace this transformation of the publishing industry.