Print. Digital. Project Management. Metadata.

John Rodzvilla is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Writing, Literature and Publishing at Emerson College in Boston. He teaches undergraduates and graduates in both the residential publishing programs and the online MFA in Popular Fiction Writing and Publishing. He is also the author of the new book, Project Management for Book Publishers from Routledge (2024). He teaches classes on ebook design, digital pupblishing, metadata, book publishing for authors, and maybe even a class or workshop on project management.He also speaks at conferences around the world and is always looking for new opportunities to connect with others on new projects and ideas.

He holds a Masters Degree in Library and Information Science from Simmons College and has over a decade of experience in the trade book publishing world and may have even worked at a bookstore once upon a time.

He also writes poetry and fiction, some of which gets published. After binging on The Great Pottery Throwdown, John also started to take pottery classes. If you are interested you can see his pottery at @Bobo_and_Lefty on Instagram.

Recent News

Project Management for Book Publishers

Project Management for Book Publishers: The Programs and Workflows Behind Making Books and Digital Products

Digital has brought more data, more training, and more accountability to the publishing process. But it has also shone light on how systems designed initially around print-first publications are ill-equipped to support an industry of now would-be digital media companies. This book addresses some of the major challenges for publishing houses facing this reality, including how to create a digital-aware workflow, implementing quality assurance procedures, and using different management systems to develop an efficient workflow. Beginning by explaining project and product management practices used throughout technology and media companies, it then delves into when and how these principles can be applied to the publishing workflow. Topics covered include Waterfall and Agile Project Management, Scrum methodology, Kanban framework, ebook and audio formats, metadata, quality assurance, crowdfunding, in-app monetization, ONIX, and accessibility. Readers will consider not just how to contend with online platforms that allow authors to publish with the click of a button, and audiences accustomed to accessing content across multiple platforms and formats, but also challenges arising from factors such as the data-driven acquisitions model in libraries, the downward spiral of sales in college bookstores, the call for accessibility, and the need for fluid content systems that can work with different publishing databases and software.

Beyond the Advance

Beyond the Advance Presentation from By the Book 9

In June 2020, L.L. McKinney, a Black author of young adult novels, began the #publishingpaidme hashtag to create a discussion on how the publishing industry treats Black authors: “what they’re paid. What the marketing is. How the books are treated. How one Black book not reaching its parameters casts a shadow on all Black books and all Black authors, and that’s not the same for our white counterparts.” (Grady 2020) McKinney’s call resulted in an online discussion across 65,000 tweets between authors of all races and the creation of a Google spreadsheet that collected information on over 2,000 titles.

While the conversation was originally meant to discuss the ethical value of book publishing, it became an economic assessment by authors of how publishers treated authors of color and women authors without a full analysis of the data collected. This paper would present the data collected from relevant tweets and the Google database to show not only the range of advances among participating authors split out by their race, gender, sexual orientation and the genre of their work, but also the publishers’ treatment of their titles in terms of deal announcements and pre-pub attention in industry publications. The paper is based on a multi-year project of cleaning and evaluating the collected data to assess what it reveals about the habits and strategies of American publishers in acquiring and promoting titles from a diverse group of authors across the literary, non-fiction, children’s, mystery, romance, and SFF genres.


The Independent: A Magazine on Independent Film

With the end of the semester, I just want to celebrate the work done at The Independent. The editorial board and writers this semester outdid themselves! They posted some great interviews and some amazing essays about fashion in film and the monstrous feminine.

"What Outfit Shall the Protagonist Wear?" in volume 34, issue 2 of LOGOS.

Online fiction platforms like Wattpad, Tapas, Choices, and Episode have created new models of digital storytelling that serve billions of readers a month who access the content through apps and websites. Through a free-to-read (F2R) model these platforms offer access to thousands of online prose narratives. Instead of requiring money upfront for access, they have found a way to monetize narrative through ad-supported serialization and paywalls. Some companies have also begun to offer reader customization through microtransactions similar to those in the mobile game world. This paper examines how these platforms are using the F2R model to create a compelling reading experience that personalizes the text and keeps readers engaged with textual content.

AMlit CoverThe Hollowed-Out Bookstore: Amazon’s Promotion of Empty Discourses in Their Online Bookstore" in volume 3, number 1 of AmLit

Abstract: Amazon is considered the world’s largest bookstore but what kind of books hide on the ‘darkest’ digital shelves? By looking beyond the new titles and best-sellers, this paper finds evidence of a wasteland of titles composed of content-free titles, corrupted reprints, and dangerous misinformation. Changes to publishing in the twenty-first century and the pressure of the market on Amazon can help to explain how this wasteland formed, but this paper also explores how this wasteland provides for specific audiences who live in their own cultural bubbles.

Get In Touch

Looking for someone to talk about project management, ebook design, or other aspects of book publishing in both the traditional and self publishing space? Feel free to contact me

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    Department of Writing, Literature, and Publishing
    120 Boylston St.
    Boston, MA 02116
    United States
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