Archive for August, 2008

The Book of Myself: MIDDLE YEARS – WORK & RESPONSIBILITIES – If I could have changed professions in mid-stream I would have become a:

August 29, 2008


Book Publishing Digital Community Builder.  I actually did this.  After a 25 year career in the software industry, I decided to make a major career change when I turned 50 in 2005.  I was looking for a vocation where I could make a difference and change people’s lives for the better.  After spending two years writing a non-fiction narrative to help young people discover their voice and freedom, I joined Berrett-Koehler Publishers (BK), a small book publisher in San Francisco in October of 2007.  The mission statement of the company is Creating a World That Works For All, at the individual, organizational, and societal levels.  BK Life serves individuals with personal development titles on career and life planning.  BK Business serves organizations with progressive management and leadership books.  BK Currents addresses social, political, and economic justice and global sustainability.


I joined the company to help it make the transition from printed books to the brave new digital world.  Just like the music and newspaper industry, book publishing is going through a radical transformation.  These days, many people are starting to read on iPhones, Kindle, and Sony electronic reading devices.  Now BK sells e-books alongside every new printed book, and we are selling article-size content from our authors as well.  We are building an online community of BK stakeholders, which includes readers, authors, agents, printers, book designers, manuscript reviewers, and BK staff members.  We help authors produce videos, blogs, and podcasts and feature them on our website,  You can also see some of our BK Author Video segments on the Other Books section of this website.  We’ve also established a BK presence on Facebook, YouTube, and Scribd.


But one thing surprised me about the book industry.  I thought I would be slowing down by moving from the fast-paced software field into the more staid field of book publishing—but it has been anything but.  I’m working harder than ever before, but since I get such pleasure out of helping people grow, it hardly feels like work.  What was it that a wise person once said: “Do something you love, and you’ll never work another day of your life.”  That’s what it feels like working at Berrett-Koehler Publishers.


David Marshall

Senior Manager for Digital Communities

Berrett-Koehler Publishers

San Francisco, California USA