Wednesday, July 29, 2009

WOW books vs. Wastes

I wanted to share with you a nice phone call I received the other day from the editor of a large Civil War newsletter. We are lucky enough to have great, established relationships with a number of Civil War reviewers who write reviews for popular blogs, newsletters, and newspapers.

One newsletter editor called me the other day to check in. He had requested a number of our Spring 2009 Civil War releases in early 2009, and was anxiously awaiting his copies of books such as The Complete Gettysburg Guide and The Maps of First Bull Run. He called to thank us for his recent package, and to say that Savas Beatie published “wow books.” Paraphrasing, he said, “Every one of the Savas Beatie books I review is in a category I like to call Wow Books. Frankly, I receive some great books, some mediocre ones, and others that are just a waste of a tree.”

It was nice to hear, and we appreciate the continued support of all of the people who review our books.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Our New Newsletter Friend

I think I was so busy reading Parul’s blog, I forgot to post on my own. =)

It’s been a busy summer here so far. One of the things that we are most excited about is our new format for our newsletter. We are now using the program Constant Contact to mail out our monthly updates. The program is easy to use and the end result is very professional looking. One of our summer interns, Alex Savas, has done a great job setting it up. I hope you all enjoy it. If you don’t receive our newsletter now, please make sure to sign up on our website here, in the box on the right here.

We also started a new newsletter that we are sending out to our authors a couple times a month. In the past when I have had information that I have wanted to share with all of our authors, I would send out a mass email. Now, using Constant Contact to send out Author News, we have a new way to get our authors updates and advice of things they can do and implement to help sell their books. I hope our authors will find it useful.

Stay tuned as I brush up on the frequency of my blog posts . . .

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Lists, Mixed Martial Arts, and a little bit of Baseball

A few quick notes and updates from today. Not many phone calls. I guess everyone’s sleepy today. (I know I’m ready for bed.)

I’ve been searching through Civil War blogs and compiling a list of e-mail addresses (if you received an introductory email from me, you know who you are!). I also added the finishing touches to my blog page.

What’s Exciting: FIGHT! magazine will feature a review of Mixed Martial Arts (by Daniel J. Brush, David Horne, Marc CB Maxwell, and Zac Robinson) in their August issue. This is another one of those Sports by the Numbers books, a series for sports aficionados.

The cool thing about this book, other than the fact that it has four authors , is that the picture on the cover is of none other than Ted Savas’s son’s former Taekwondo teacher.

“We wanted somebody posed in a fighting position on the front cover who was familiar with MMA, but many photos like that are licensed,” Sarah told me this morning. “So we called D.T.’s old instructor, Robert Barge, and asked him if he’d be willing to pose.”

Barge now sells copies of the book at his local studio, Overcome Training.

Interesting Books: Remember yesterday I told you I’d let you know if something on the bookshelf caught me eye? Well here it is: Playing with the Enemy by Gary W. Moore. The story is about a farm boy (from a town in Illinois “so small even map makers ignored it”) headed for the big leagues. The Brooklyn Dodgers became interested in the 15-year-old prodigy, but unfortunately Pearl Harbor interrupted the boy’s baseball career. The boy and his (Navy) team are sent on a top-secret mission: to guard captured German sailors. Gene convinces his commander to let him teach the enemy to play baseball.

Another one of those wishy-washy poignant baseball stories? Nope. What’s remarkable is that this story is true. Plus, the author is the boy’s son. Who knows? Maybe Homer actually first heard the Odyssey from Telemachos.

Well, it’s time for me to head home. Check back tomorrow to see what else Savas Beatie has in store for me.

SB Insider Blog

We’ve been receiving a lot of great feedback via emails on Parul’s new blog, SB Insider. Because of its popularity so far, we decided to set up a separate blog for it. Here’s the direct link so you can follow SB Insider. I’ll continue to copy her postings here for awhile, but be sure to check out the link directly. Parul welcomes feedback, questions, and post suggestions so please don’t hesitate to send them her way at

Monday, July 6, 2009

Back to Work

It’s Monday morning after the Fourth of July Weekend. Most Americans still see sizzling burgers and dazzling colors every time they close their eyes. Offices are full of languid, yawning employees, trudging half-heartedly to their next meeting.

But Savas Beatie is engaged and active as usual. Here are a few snapshots of what went on today:

11:21 a.m.: I finish my first batch of Savas Beatie filing. (So, I actually do have to take a walk in the average intern’s shoes once in a while. On the bright side, the filing only took me 18 minutes!)

11:54 a.m.: Ted announces two new enthusiastic five-star reviews for Sickles at Gettysburg. Check out to see what readers have to say about James A. Hessler’s book.

12:22 p.m.: The Sacramento Kings book just shipped.

12:36 p.m.: I overheard Ted telling Sarah that the second paperback edition of The Maps of Gettysburg (by Bradley M. Gottfried) is bound today and ships from the printer tomorrow.

12:47 p.m.: Ted shuts his door to give Mr. Beatie an update on what’s going on in the office this week. (And I finally learn where the “Beatie” part of Savas Beatie comes from.)

1:40 p.m.: Ted’s getting confused. Facebook troubles. (Parents start texting, and Facebook’s used for business. What’s next?)

What’s Interesting:

* Last Thursday I met Larry Tagg, author of The Unpopular Mr. Lincoln. (Tagg was a musician, author, and high-school teacher . . . These days you’re behind if you’re only on your second career.) I was lucky enough to sit in on a marketing meeting for Tagg’s book, and I picked up some cool business/marketing secrets. Sorry, I won’t be discussing them online (not today, at least).

* Tagg wrote an article on Lincoln in the Civil War Preservation Trust’s magazine Hallowed Ground. It should ship to subscribers the third week of July.

* Today I set up my own blog page. Since you’re reading this, then you obviously found it. Please be sure to share this link with others you know interested in books, military history, publishing, and marketing

Well, I think I’m going to head over to the bookshelf to browse and then call it a day. I’ll let you know tomorrow if something catches my eye. Also, I welcome any ideas you may have for future blog posts. Let me know by commenting here, or send me an email at

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

SB Insider: Settling In

Only Day 2 and I already feel at home in the Savas Beatie office. Ted succeeded in scaring me this morning when he asked me where my suit was. (By Day 3, I’ll be comfortable enough to recognize jokes right away.)

Today’s been extremely busy, so please excuse my lack of detailed observation (I forgot to check on those plants). From counting and organizing signed book plates (the company does something really cool with these; I explain more about them farther down), posting events on the web (check out BookTour), sitting in on a meeting, and editing an interview transcript, I was served a full plate today.

Things to note:

  • Did you know publishing companies print out “advanced copies” of books before they’re released? Sarah (our marketing director) showed me one of these. The ARC’s (Advanced Reader Copies), also called “galleys,” usually look just like (albeit unedited) finished paperback versions of the books. These are for editing and reviewing purposes. I was under the impression all of the reviewing was done on word documents, not on a printed and bound version of the book. (I guess, being a Harry Potter fan, I’m too used to J.K. Rowling’s secrecy.)

  • Savas Beatie is working to immerse itself in the social networking environment. Today I sat in on a meeting between Sarah and Alex and was amazed to hear the different ways sites such Facebook and Twitter can be used as marketing and business tools. Who knew Facebook wasn’t just for showing your friends prom and birthday photos?

Interesting Books: The Wars Against Napoleon by General Michel Franceschi and Ben Weider is another book that exposes misconceptions about a historical figure that have become canonical. According to Weider, who passed away last year, his motivation for writing this book with Franceshi was “correcting history and enabling Napoleon to gain the respect he deserves.” Be sure to read the late Mr. Weider’s interview for more information. We’ll post it on our website soon.

Today’s big events:

  • Sacramento Kings book by Daniel J. Brush, David Horne, and Mark C.B. Maxwell (from our Sports by the Number series) is shipping from the printer today!
Now I still need to ask Ted about the two plus two equals ten theory of his . . . Stay tuned!

- Parul