Bookmobile is a Minneapolis-based short-run book printer serving trade houses, university presses, independent publishers, museums, and more. They've got a long history, and they make gorgeous books.
We couldn't be happier to partner with them to print our Double Shift Press titles.
We first started working with Bookmobile back in 2014, when they became a client of ours at Modern Writing Services. Nicole Baxter, Bookmobile's director of sales, marketing, and publisher services (and all-around excellent person) reached out to inquire about our communications services.
Bookmobile had just gone through a rebranding process and needed help integrating their brand standards with their new website. We provided an extensive edit of the website, along with recommendations and a style guide for their in-house use.
We've partnered with them on a number of projects since then, and we always love the work—they're passionate about what they do, they're innovative and forward-thinking, and they value good communication. Plus, Nicole has a wicked sense of humor that always makes her emails the highlight of my inbox.
So it was a no-brainer for us to look to Bookmobile for printing and design services when we launched Double Shift Press earlier this year. Bookmobile has worked with over 900 publishers, including luminaries such as Graywolf Press and innovators such as OR Books. If you like to read, chances are you've got some of their books on your shelf.
The quality and range of printing and design options that Bookmobile offers far outstrips the print-on-demand services that most self-publishers use. They make everything look stunning, from standard paperbacks and journals to luxe coffee table books and gallery-ready catalogues.
Most nonprofits can’t—and shouldn’t—look to grants as the path to the promised land of stability. But a solid search strategy, a strong sense of grant writing fundamentals, and a commitment to integrating grant-getting into an overall revenue plan can help ensure that your nonprofit thrives.
In the coming weeks, we’ll be posting a series of discussions on finding, writing, and winning grants. Today, we’re starting at the top: developing a solid search strategy to locate relevant grants.
New nonprofits may assume that grants account for the majority of their funding. But most nonprofits have a diverse revenue stream, and grants usually account for less than 20 percent of funding. Of course, “less than 20 percent” still adds up to a significant sum, so winning grants is essential work.
The first step to landing a grant is conducting an efficient search. While government grants often seem like the biggest and therefore best place to start, these grants require that nonprofits meet minutely specified standards, and they are intensely competitive.
Nonprofits should certainly search sam.beta.gov (the new site for The Catalog of Domestic Assistance) for information on available federal grants and grants.gov to inquire into specific granting agencies.
But nonprofits should also look closely at local government sources (in Minnesota, the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits has a helpful page of links), and they should look even more closely at local and family foundations and corporations.
In 2016, foundations gave almost 60 billion dollars in charitable giving. To identify relevant local entities, start with your board. Board members usually know corporations and foundations with grantmaking power and can provide helpful advice.
Next, identify local grantmakers with interests that align with your nonprofit’s mission and needs. This kind of research starts with board members (and Google), but it should also include searching directories like the Minnesota Grants Directory for information on available grants and point-of-contact staff.
Finally, it can be worthwhile to pay for a subscription service like The Foundation Center. For about fifty dollars a month (Minnesotans receive free access through many county libraries), The Foundation Center provides data (like top-funder reports with aggregated financial stats) to help nonprofits capture grant dollars. The subscription can pay for itself for nonprofits seeking to bring in new money (and sustain recurring grants).
The process of finding, applying, writing, and winning a grant is unending and arduous, but it's also necessary. In the coming weeks, we'll help you break it down into a manageable—and remunerative—practice!
Last week, Molly wrote about a new research study that found writing—specifically, writing a to-do list for the next day—can promote sleep. While it may be strange that tallying to-dos promotes sleepiness, it turns out that writing about as-yet-undone tasks is both relaxing and practical.
In fact, the utility of ending the day by planning for the next day should be obvious: it saves time and provides immediate focus when you sit down bleary-eyed in the morning.
This logic also holds true for big projects—especially big writing projects. Projects that require days, weeks, or months can become all-consuming and feel overwhelming. It's easy to get decision fatigue and lose sight of the big picture, which then paralyzes our ability to make real progress.
But there are some simple, practical tactics to avoid this seemingly inevitable loss of productivity—namely, by ending each day planning for the next.
1. Each day, take quick stock of what you've accomplished. It helps to note progress, however slight! (And remember, even discovering roadblocks is a kind of progress.)
2. Check in with the overall project timeline. If you’re off track, what resources do you need to get back to where you need to be?
3. Make that to-do list for tomorrow. Take special note of the first thing you're going to do when you sit down, so that you can be off and running without having to think about it.
4. Write it all down! There's something magical about committing your ideas to paper (or screen)--studies have put hard data to the fact that writing down goals makes us more likely to achieve them.
This kind of "parking downhill," as our writing consultant friends like to call it, works. It helped me finish my dissertation in my graduate school days of yore, and it helps me now when I'm working on big client projects.
Give it a try. It may give your productivity (and your sleep) a boost.
English PhD, former arts administrator, obsessive cook, native East Coaster, and mom to two rabblerousers.
English PhD, former high school teacher, obsessive organizer, native Midwesterner, and mom to three troublemakers.