Vice President of Business Development, Matt Keller discusses publishing at Capstone, a new Ebooks Minnesota publishing partner. Ebooks MN is an online collection covering a wide variety of subjects for readers of all ages, and features content from our state's independent publishers.
Minitex: How would you describe yourself as a publisher? What does it mean to you to be an independent publisher in Minnesota?
Matt Keller: Capstone has had an important part in the educational publishing community of Minnesota. We are committed to bringing literacy to the world and believe that starts in our own back yard. Throughout the year, our employees volunteer in efforts that support our schools and libraries. Our independence allows us the freedom to think beyond profits and to open the world to kids through reading.
Minitex: What do you see your role is in the Minnesota publishing community?
MK: I think our role is to help support all publishing in Minnesota. We have a vibrant community of creative publishing in this state and all of us have the responsibility to make sure it stays strong for many years to come.
Minitex: What are you most proud of as a publisher? What publications are you most excited about?
MK: Capstone was recently awarded a Caldecott Honor Award for the book A Different Pond in 2018. That’s very exciting for us and we are proud that the author, Bao Phi, is from St. Paul. We publish hundreds of titles each year so it’s hard to narrow it down but we're excited about a new book coming out this Fall, Yasmin by Saadia Faruqi. This book is about a second grade, Pakistani American girl whose spirit and can-do attitude helps her navigate life’s big and little problems.
Minitex: How would you describe your relationship with the Minnesota library community? What would you like to see in the future?
MK: Capstone has a very strong relationship with Minnesota school and public libraries. We hope that our partnership with Minitex will greatly strengthen that relationship and illustrate our commitment to Minnesota’s libraries!
Minitex: What changes do you think publishing will see in the future? Where do you see Capstone in the future?
MK: I think with publishing we continue to evolve into many different formats and delivery of content. One of Capstone’s goals is to make sure we are where kids want to read. That could be in a library, on their phones or tablets, or audio and the emerging virtual reality and augmented reality experiences. Capstone wants to stay relevant while staying true to our roots.
Minitex: PR coverage/getting word out about books has drastically changed (i.e. social media promotions, book trailers, etc.). What do you think this will look like in the future? How will people find books?
MK: I think the “voice first” approach to searching will really accelerate in the coming few years. It is estimated that over half of all searches will be by voice in the next 3 years. Imagine asking Alexa, Google or many other voice platforms what book they recommend by a certain author or on a certain topic. The challenge for publishers to make their content discoverable in a digital world is never ending. It’s both exciting and scary!