Owner and Managing Director, Control Mouse Media, LLC
January 2014 – Present (3+ years) Boston, MA
I run my own media & consulting business helping small business owners and non-fiction authors build their audience using a content strategy.
- I am a longtime publishing veteran who has helped hundreds of authors realize their ideas from concept to completion.
- I am an entrepreneur who has helped build early-stage startups from the ground up.
- I am a writer, so I understand the creative’s perspective as well as the business side.
- I am an educator, teaching content strategy to my audience, my clients, and my students.
In addition to working directly with clients, I produce a weekly podcast called Marketing Without the Marketing to teach the basics of content marketing to hundreds of people each week. For more details, please see: https://controlmousemedia.com.
- Marketing Without the Marketing, my podcast to teach content marketing 10 minutes at a time.
- CreateBiz, an online course to teach soft-touch marketing to creatives of all types.
- The Glass Box Project, my “live” book project for entrepreneurial non-fiction authors.
- Columnist and Writer for The EdTech Times, featuring The Good Content Series.
- Mentor and general advisor to the LearnLaunch startup accelerator program.
- Content Strategy Advisor to The EdTech Times.
- Articles for Non-Fiction Authors http://bit.ly/articles-for-authors.
- Articles for Entrepreneurs http://bit.ly/articles-for-entrepreneurs.
- Articles for Educators http://bit.ly/articles-for-educators.
- The Pace of Change in Education: Expectations vs. Reality http://bit.ly/VCs-in-EdTech.
- The Good Content Series for educators on EdTech Times http://bit.ly/GoodContentSeries.
Instructor, Emerson College
January 2016 – Present (1+ years) Boston, MA
I teach a grad-level course at Emerson College called “Fundamentals of Content Strategy,” all about developing content as a business asset and using it to achieve specific business goals. Because I believe that students learn by doing, teaching, collaborating, and experimenting, I designed and created this course as a dynamic live project where students work alone and in groups to get experience in the planning and execution of an effective content strategy to build an audience.
Co-Founder and Instructor, CreateBiz
October 2015 – Present (1+ years) Boston, MA
CreateBiz is a complete online course to help creatives build a business around their creative work, focused on the most difficult part – marketing.
I wrote and produced this course in a partnership with Dave Kusek, founder of Berklee Online and creator of the New Artist Model for musicians. Based on our own experience with clients and in the classroom, Dave and I personally teach the 42 video modules included in the course.
In our experience, many creatives dread marketing, because it feels “icky” and self-promotional. CreateBiz teaches a more soft-touch approach instead, which is more effective in growing a devoted following.
CreateBiz is for writers, musicians, and visual artists because creatives defy boundaries. Musicians are writers, too. Travel photographers blog. Novelists play in bands. Graphic artists are storytellers. We create, we connect, and we can all learn from one another’s unique experiences.
In additional to the 42 video modules, there are dozens of worksheets, templates, checklists, and guided assignments to help creatives get focused and efficient in building an audience.
For more details, please see: https://createbiz.com
Vice President, Strategy – Libboo
July 2013 – December 2013 (<1 year) Cambridge, MA
Libboo was an early-stage startup when I was involved, seeking to help talented authors of all types have the careers they choose in the digital age. The platform empowered authors by providing real-time analytics about their most engaged fans and readers—kind of a “Google Analytics for Authors.” The data dashboard was the first of its kind, giving authors useable insight into their audience based on real behavioral data.
I started as an early advisor to the founders in 2012, but joined full time at a pivotal point in the company’s development. My focus was:
- Brand management. Drive Libboo’s strategic direction. Unify, clarify, and reduce the message about the mission.
- Content strategy. Establish Libboo as thought leaders. Create a movement. Inspire underserved authors to build their own brand.
- Community growth. Employ inbound marketing and growth hacking techniques to attract author partners and their reader advocates.
- Business Development. Transform the product into a scalable business. Direct the go-to-market strategy for both B2C and B2B.
Vice President, Content and Community – Flat World Knowledge
April 2009 – March 2013 (4 years) Boston, MA
When I joined, Flat World Knowledge was a brand new entrant in the higher education textbook industry. In my four years there, we made a huge impact. With a disruptive business model and platform, we produced a competitive catalog of high quality, peer-reviewed textbooks and offered them at significantly lower costs to students (including a free, “open” version), while transferring control of our content to instructors to provide a more personalized learning experience. My team built the catalog—I was responsible for all aspects of content, from acquiring, developing, and licensing textbook content to inbound marketing and content marketing.
Editorial Director, March 2009 – October 2011
I was a part of the core group that built the company from the ground up. I was hired as Editorial Director at the Series A round, charged with building a brand new catalog of college textbooks from scratch. I made an immediate impact by:
- Acquiring content rapidly. I signed 82 titles in under three years, all core textbooks for the largest-enrolling college courses. That included 22 of the top 25 enrolling markets. Using industry metrics, that’s $163M in projected revenue ($40M in FWK dollars).
- Developing quality content. I designed and implemented a book development process from scratch; hired a small but powerful team of 4-5 people who published books in about half the time and at nearly a tenth of the cost of the legacy publishers.
- Producing and delivering content. FWK published 57 first editions in under 3 years. Of those books, 23 titles were ones that I signed, 11 of which served AAA markets. The catalog contains over 100 titles now.
- Contributing to real change in the industry. By fall semester 2012, our books were actively in use in over 4,000 classrooms, and had served 725,000+ students. We led the industry in access, affordability, and control of content. The market rewarded us with a doubling growth rate, which led to our first profitable month as a company in January 2013.
VP, Content and Community, October 2011 – March 2013
After building the foundation of a strong product catalog, I expanded my role to shape the company’s future by:
- Building out my concept of Community Around Content, cultivating invested curators who improve current content and create new content.
- Transforming the company’s marketing philosophy of customer acquisition from purely outbound strategies to more inbound marketing and content marketing.
- Opening more channels for direct user feedback, and rebuilding the review process so that it is ongoing rather than episodic.
- Redesigning the platform to transfer more control of our content to our users, and atomizing our content to enable more remixing and reuse.
- Licensing our content to innovative third party distributors and course providers, and establishing a consistent “born digital” content architecture that makes such deals easy and efficient.
- Executing a shift in business model in fall 2012 from “Free to Fair,” including designing and writing a new user license.
Executive Editor – Pearson Education
November 2004 – March 2009 (4 years 5 months) New York, NY
- Managed all aspects of Pearson’s list for U.S. History, one of the largest enrolling college courses in the country. Under my direction, this list grew 11% to $24.5M in FY07.
- Signed top author talent to write and develop new and innovative materials. I acquired 33 titles, totaling $22.2M in total projected revenue. I published 13 first editions in that time.
- Planned revised editions of existing titles to increase market share. I arranged and signed a total of $37.2M in projected first year revenue.
- Established and coordinated publication cycles that optimized market opportunity and fostered steady growth.
- Led all facets of each project from start to finish—from the development of the initial concept to publication of the finished product.
- Introduced new products such as video podcasts, interactive maps, and MP3 study guides.
- Supervised and mentored one project manager, one editorial assistant, and one acquisitions editor.
Acquisitions Editor – John Wiley & Sons
July 2002 – October 2004 (2 years 4 months) Hoboken, NJ
- Managed all aspects of an $8M list in Calculus and Finite Mathematics/Applied Calculus.
- Analyzed market dynamics, identified potential for new products, and targeted top educators to write, review, or contribute to texts and ancillaries. I signed 6 titles, totaling $3.28M in projected first year revenue.
- Assessed profitability of existing titles, and developed and proposed business plans for potential revisions. I strategized with marketing to devise and implement alternate product versions to reduce attrition.
- Worked with my product team, authors, and contributors to prepare and deliver manuscript, media, and supplements to the market.
Marketing Manager – Addison-Wesley
September 1997 – June 2002 (4 years 10 months) Boston, MA
- Responsible for the marketing and promotion of Addison-Wesley’s Calculus and Statistics list ($21M in annual revenue). I drove sales activities through direct contact with customers, and by educating and empowering sales representatives.
- Led the marketing and promotion of the largest conference dedicated to technology in collegiate mathematics, the International Conference on Technology in Collegiate Mathematics (ICTCM). I served as a member of the Executive Steering Committee, and extended the brand to include Professional Development Short Courses dedicated to using the Web in mathematics.
- Initiated, promoted, and executed the Addison-Wesley Experience Mathematics and Statistics Workshop Series. I developed a template to efficiently execute future workshops. I was responsible for a 50% increase in attendance in 2000, setting a new standard for enrollment at the time.
- Colgate University BA, Psychology, 1986 – 1990
- East Greenwich High School HS, Gen Ed, 1982 – 1986