Entrepreneur of the Year Criteria #4

According to Gregory K. Ericksen in his book Entrepreneur of the Year Award: Insights From the Winner’s Circle, the fourth criteria the judges use to help them determine a winner involves the culture, values, and incentives surrounding the work force, the company, and the community. 

An example of this involves our EVVY Book Awards.  Every Diamond and Pearl book we publish is eligible to be nominated for an official Outskirts Press EVVY Award Nomination.  Those nominees are subsequently submitted to the annual Colorado Independent Publishers Association EVVY Awards.  Recently we won 16 different awards, the most among all participating publishers.

The Outskirts Press production team members for each first, second, and third place award also won compensatory bonuses for their valued contributions in producing EVVY-award-winning books for their authors.  One of our internal goals at Outskirts Press is to help our authors publish award-winning books. So by creating a bonus structure for our production department that recognizes when that goal is met, our authors are happier and our cover designers, book formatters, and author representatives are happier, too. Win-win. 

Another example is our $10,000 donation to the Colorado Humanities last December and our sponsorship of their Colorado Book Awards and Student Literary Awards

Later this week, on May 6th, the winners of the Colorado Humanities Student Literary Awards will be announced in Denver.  I will be attending the event and revealing the full-color anthology, published by Outskirts Press.   The anthology is titled 2010 Student Literary Awards Anthology: Winning Art, Poems and Letters by Colorado Students.

Handing out awards to young and aspiring writers is very fulfilling. And seeing their faces light up when they discover they are published authors is extraordinary.  I love it. Another win-win.  And that is culture, values, and incentives in a nutshell.

Outskirts Press, Colorado Humanities, and TIE

I’ve been trying to avoid blogging about the “day-to-day” details because, frankly, that’s not very interesting. Strategic topics are great to discuss here, but when I find myself composing a blog about the minutiae of running a company, I usually end up erasing it. Why? Because the minutiae here is probably the same as the minutiae everywhere else.   Once companies reach a certain size, there’s a certain similarity to what is involved, and while the “big picture” might be different, many of the steps are often the same. 

But last week had a few exceptions. I met with the nice folks at Colorado Humanities to discuss what they were going to do with the donation Outskirts Press made to their non-profit organization last year.  We are sponsoring their Colorado Book Awards and Student Literary Awards and also discussed some other potential collaborations.

Last Thursday evening I also attended a TIE Association meeting. TIE stands for The Internet Entrepreneur and Thursday’s speaker was Steve Knopper, who was discussing his book, Appetite for Self-Destruction: The Spectacular Crash of the Record Industry in the Digital Age.

I don’t think I’m saying anything surprising when I say it has some similarities with what is happening now with the traditional publishing industry…