Help Gambrinus Media Get Off The Ground
Posted by Bob Skilnik on December 27, 2007
I’ve been writing and watching my books get published with varying degrees of success since 1999. Between ’99 and the present, I’ve been on ABC’s “The View,” ESPN2, the Fox News Channel,” local Chicago TV and have done more radio programs than I can remember. I’ve also done about one-hundred paid lectures and presentations about beer, beer and brewery histories, and the occasional consultation on how to get published.
My bio states that my latest book, Beer & Food: An American History is my seventh book, but that’s a little white lie. I actually put together a 100-pager a few years ago that was done as a work-for-hire job, a move that can pay well up front but you lose any and all rights to the publication after it goes to press. Basically, you whore yourself out for the almighty dollar, but if you have the time and can crank out a small book at double-time, it can be worth a fiscal shot in the arm. For about forty-hours worth of work over one month, I picked up a couple of grand plus change.
Eight books, five with traditional publishers, two through vanity presses (some people call this approach Print-On-Demand…POD, incorrect since printing is a process, not a publication approach) and one work-for-hire option. That leaves one avenue that I haven’t dealt with (at least not yet!)…self-publishing. I don’t mean going with 1st Books, iUniverse or any vanity presses that newbies think are independent self-publishers. I mean actually starting up my own publishing house, Gambrinus Media. My next book will be published through Gambrinus Media, and after I digest the whole process, I’ll begin to solict manuscripts from budding authors-to-be that deal with all aspects of beer, wine and spirits; that means cooking with, enjoying, history of, etc.
I do this because I’ve seen it all, especially this year. Barricade Books, publisher of Beer: A History of Brewing in Chicago, declared Chapter 11 protection in October, i.e., bankruptcy. Jefferson Press, publisher of Beer & Food: An American History, promised me the world in terms of marketing and support for the book. Having been doing this for awhile, I knew that publisher talk is cheap; unless it’s in the contract, it ain’t gonna happen. My agent had faith. I didn’t. I was right.
During the week before Christmas, you couldn’t buy this book on Amazon or Barnes & Noble because none were available. The biggest book-buying season and Beer & Food: An American History was not available on the biggest online book stores. It might have been the fault of the distributor. It might have been the fault of Jefferson Press. Owning your own publishing house means the only one you can blame is yourself. I think I’ll take my chances with myself.
But in order to do this properly, I need seed money. Since most of the liquour store owners around my house know me, knocking over one of their stores is out of the question. If you’ve got a book in you and need some advice, I do consult and my hourly fee is extremely reasonable. Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll give you almost ten years worth of advice on publishing approaches, including how to get published…and once your are published, how to sell your book. HINT: Getting published is a hell of a lot easier than getting people to buy your book.
Phase II of this overal plan is a website devoted entirely to videos of food recipes prepared with beer, wine, sakis, liquor and liqueurs as ingredients. In addition, I will be doing audiocast interviews of the mover and shakers in the drink trade, including brewers, vintners, distillers, distributors and importers. This new Web 2.0 site will open around the end of July. At the moment, the links are working, but it’s really a soft opening. There’ll be much more to come.
So far, I’ve tried to get the cooperation of home cooks to send videos we could use for Beer (& More) In Food and the response has been a dismal failure. While I agree that posting videos to sites like youtube.com is great, there are too many categories or channels, diluting the impact of your video of making a vodka red sauce, for instance, or something like a nice tiramisu using a milk stout. These kinds of videos get lost on the shuffle. But if let us know you’ve posted a nice beer/wine/booze food recipe to youtube, or Yahoo or Google, let us know so that we can also download your video to our upcoming site. If people want to show their cooking skills to a receptive audience, this new site will be the place to come to.
You won’t get lost in the shuffle.
If you’re a brewer, vintner, distiller, cook or chef, or an importer, distributor or ad agency looking to reach a dedicated and growing audience of food and drink enthusiasts looking for “how-to” advice, whether making a great recipe or drink, then you’ll be coming to the right place!
Drinkz-N-Eatz-TV is looking to foster relationships with people and businesses in the food and drink trades. With your help, we’ll be extending our reach and activity into the huge community of equally fervent food and drink enthusiasts, people at home who want to try new dishes, taste new wines, beers, and liquors and liqueurs, whether in their home kitchens, their home bars or at your establishments.
Sponsorship opportunities exist in a number of places — but we want to add options beyond traditional “radio ad spots” or “banner ads,” although these tried-and-true and affordable approaches will work as well for our current format.
Drinkz-N-Eatz-TV wants to make sponsors an active part of our Web 2.0 community as well. We’re not looking for just ads, but short videos that offer genuine advice—how-to videos as information and entertainment vehicles to demonstrate your expertise and the key selling points of your business or product. Some might call these efforts “infomercials,” and that’s fine with us, as long as the “sell” is soft and the informational and educational aspects of your video presentations firm.
Sponsorship at Drinkz-N-Eatz-TV is more than advertising; it’s about opening up lines of communication with the Web 2.0 community, and finding out what they really want. And we’re flexible in terms of how this sponsorship will work; it may include doing guest video segments on our shows, podcast interviews promoting your business or product, links back to to your website, or product and information downloads from Drinkz-N-Eatz-TV with targeted advertising…and more. Let’s talk!
We want to work with sponsors that we ourselves believe in; so we can truthfully and honestly promote your products and services. That means sending us samples of your products that we can also use in our video and audio productions, adding additional Drinkz-N-Eatz-TV support to your efforts.
Our advertising rates are reasonable and we have a number of low-cost ideas that will get your products noticed by site visitors. If you’re interested in more information, please contact author, guest speaker, and TV and radio personality, Bob Skilnik at email@example.com
I’m now in the process of interviewing a couple of respected brewers, chefs and book authors for upcoming podcasts about food and drink, and soon beginning video productions in our Drinkz-N-Eatz-TV kitchen of exciting new food and drink recipes. As I continue to build site content, it will be the place that food and drink enthusiasts will constanly be coming back to. Why search the web looking for this kind of content when Drinkz-N-Eatz-TV will be the One-Stop, the only stop, that you’ll need for this kind of info?
End of July and I’ll be ready to unveil the new site. Stay tuned.