BK Expands into Professional Publishing


Posted by Charlotte Ashlock - 05 December, 2017

Our New Executive Editor Lays Out Her Plan

Berrett-Koehler Publishers has taken a major step forward in creating a world that works for all by purchasing Management Concepts Press. We have acquired 127 titles that cover topics on project management, federal acquisition and contracting, federal financial management, leadership, and public administration. As well as publishing new editions of some of these 127 titles, we will also be seeking out new books within these areas. Henceforth these books, and new books I’ll be acquiring along the same lines, will be known as BK Professional books, joining our BK Business, BK Life, and BK Currents titles.

Our Master Plan

This is the first step in a larger plan to expand BK’s publication of resources for professionals, books written to answer the information needs of specific, closely defined audiences (like project managers). To this end, I was hired in the role of executive editor (with more hires to follow).

So, how does this step advance our mission? At BK we believe in helping to build effective organizations. These books will contribute dramatically to organizational success, leading to projects that are ahead of schedule and under budget or helping organizations bid on important contracts.

But on an individual level, millions of people struggle to find a place in the economy due to the mismatch between their backgrounds and the skills employers actually need. One way to close the gap is with high quality professional books that help people acquire skills and earn certifications that empower them to earn more and find their dream jobs.

Project management and federal contracting (which represent the majority of books acquired) are two lucrative professions that take intense study to master. A Project Management Professional (PMP) certification has been dubbed“the poor man’s MBA” by CNN Money, and on average it boosts earnings by 20 percent. When I read this statistic, I had a visceral impression of the impact I could have in my new job.

It’s Not Only Professional, It’s Personal

Why is helping our readers achieve financial security so meaningful to me? I’m a Millennial: I’ve seen my highly educated friends work brutally long hours so they can afford to live in dangerous neighborhoods with seven roommates. It’s a plight not unique to the Bay Area but common to urban economies worldwide. I know what it’s like to be working as hard as you can and still be sad when you see dog walkers and baby strollers, because you know you can’t afford a baby or a dog. I know it’s a first-world problem, but I still care about solving it.

If it was just about the reader’s job security and advancement that would be reason enough to publish the books, but there’s so much more we can do as well! For twenty-five years, Berrett-Koehler publications have helped the business world to find its heart and soul. Our books on leadership, communication, and engagement have leveled up the emotional intelligence of countless readers. Our books on organizational development and change methodologies have helped countless organizations to tap into their employees’ sense of meaning.

Too many professional books focus on the mechanistic underpinnings of their professions and overlook the human factor. Berrett-Koehler excels at identifying the human factor and allowing it to thrive. Or goal is to become a leader in professional publishing so we can humanize best practices worldwide in a number of vital professions.

Charlotte Ashlock
Executive Editor, BK Professional

Topics: Book Publishing, Berrett-Koehler, Project Management

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