26 December 2010

An Incredible Year!

Wow - what a year! This has been, by far, the busiest I have ever been, and the busiest that Francomedia, my boutique creative company, has been... and if that wasn't busy enough, I went and co-founded another company, Enthrill Entertainment.

As I look back at 2010 and what was accomplished, I truly am amazed.

We started the year with a trip to Edmonton, Alberta for the Alberta Chambers of Commerce Business Awards, where Francomedia took home the Marketing Award of Distinction - most of our creative team made the journey to the capital city to help accept the award for Francomedia. The gala was fun, getting the trophy and closing down the casino with my staff was even more fun!

Winning this award was a real feather in the cap, as it is very prestigious. We were honored to be a part of it and especially to take home the hardware. The best part of it was we won for work we did for ourselves and every one of our team was involved in the creations that lead to the win.

Enthrill Entertainment was made official sometime in the spring, we formed it as a publishing company and hit the ground running. Without a clue as to how a publishing company works, we made a few mistakes along the way, but we learned we could do something that none of the publishers could do - write, produce and publish a fully interactive transmedia novel in 8 digital formats and one print version in under 5 months - start to finish. This alone is a unique ability that the established publishers cannot match and may be a big asset for us going forward, especially with current event content as part of our stories. Speed to market.

Creating the publishing industry's first transmedia thriller novel garnered lots of attention in the industry and even won us a Platinum Ava Award in the category of Web/New Media/Creativity. None of this could have been accomplished without such a dedicated team of professionals - my hat is off to everyone that helped pull this together.

Many of the things we created are now just being adopted, for instance - our web site in July had the ability to sell ebooks for every device - you select the device and the web site serves you the correct file - Amazon made a big announcement in October or November that they were doing this. We just thought it made sense so we did it.

Traveling to Edmonton at the start of the year turned out to be the first of many trips in 2010 - I also went to New York, the UK (95% vacation), San Francisco and Banff. This isn't much compared to some of my friends who are on the road over 200 days a year, but for me, this was a lot of travel. I suppose I am spoiled and have gotten accustomed to having people travel to meet with me, not the other way around... but, we're newbies, entering an old industry.

We've got some very ground-breaking ideas for 2011. Some that will launch in February - booksellers all over the world will be using our new system, that we are sure of. After attending the Books in Browsers conference at the Internet Archive in October, I came up with an idea that I believe will save many businesses and catapult ebooks into a whole new world. You will see more of this soon - and read about it in many places very soon. The BIB10 conference was amazing, so many very smart people in one room - they were gracious and open to new ideas, whereas the BEA conference we attended earlier in the year was found to be the complete opposite.

Hearing some of the top minds in the industry discuss the issues being faced resulted in me being up all night thinking and writing - then it came to me. And, it solves other issues facing support businesses and so much more. My only thought was that I couldn't be the first to think of this - after much search over several weeks I couldn't find anything. Anyways, we presented the idea to an independent book store and a publishing support company and both couldn't contain their excitement for the idea. Again... you'll see more on this soon.

This idea has consumed me the last 3 months, which is why I haven't been blogging - I just have nothing to say except for this project... I think of nothing else. So, that explains the last 3 months, what about the month before that?

We went to the UK for a family vacation in August-September which I posted blogs daily and when I returned from our 4 week e
xcursion, I had a lot of catch up to do as well as prepare my presentation for the BIB10 conference, which I completely re-wrote the night before in an attempt to better serve the audience - in retrospect, I think I should have left it alone, it was much more polished. After that, I worked with the Banff Centre on a grant proposal on 21st century story telling - to work with a world class facility like that would be awesome and would allow our team to flex their creative muscle in very different ways.

The rest of my time was used up in negotiating new space for Francomedia, getting work done for our many clients and Enthrill board meetings where we ended up patenting one idea and registering some industrial designs while putting some clarity on what we'll be offering the publishing industry in 2011. Very cool stuff.

So, I have never been so e
xcited to start a year... and can't wait for January to end so that we can present our newest idea to the book industry, move into our new office space and hopefully do some more traveling.

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