Meet book editor George Foster

(This is an expanded version of the book team member spotlight found in our September newsletter.)

Book editor George Foster

Book editor George Foster

George was born and raised in Our Sunday Visitor’s hometown: Huntington, Indiana. Both sides of his family were rooted in hearty (and “stubborn”) German Catholic stock — with a “pinch” of Irish thrown into the mix.

George attended the Indiana University regional campus in Fort Wayne, receiving a bachelor’s degree, with a double major in political science and sociology (which, he says, have come in handy when analyzing Church “politics” and culture). During his college years, he met his wife-to-be, Mary Jo (Jody), and they were married in 1977, at SS. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Huntington — this being the fourth Foster generation to be married on the site; his great-grandfather’s wedding took place in the original (log) church in the 1850s.

George and Jody are blessed with two children, Courtney and Eric, each of whom now have wonderful families of their own. (Side note: These “kids” have the same birth date, August 3, two years apart, which, George reports, made for some “very entertaining” birthday parties, especially in the early years.)

George came to Our Sunday Visitor in 1979, starting out in the printing and production departments, and he eventually joined the editorial-periodicals team in 1986. He transitioned to book editorial in 2000 and has continued as a book editor ever since.

In addition to God, family, and editing, two of George’s other passions include membership in the Secular Franciscan Order and the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War.

(From time to time, he participates in Civil War reenactments as a Federal hospital steward, which is a nice, peaceful role for a Franciscan — or so he thought. Several years ago, while he and a fellow hospital steward were “pinned down” under withering Confederate “gunfire,” his comrade pulled out a pistol and began firing back. George, mortified, cried out, “What are you doing? You’re going to make us targets!” Ever since, this “red-blooded” Franciscan has referred to himself as the “Hawkeye Pierce of the Civil War.”)

Like many of his editorial colleagues, George has an ever-growing library — not only books (of course!) but also assorted DVDs and music CDs.

  • Favorite films: To Kill a Mockingbird, The Razor’s Edge (1946 version), Glory, My Favorite Year
  • Favorite novels: Lost Horizon, The Name of the Rose
  • Favorite music DVD: The Pyongyang Concert: New York Philharmonic and Lorin Maazel (2008)

Introducing freemiums

By Raven Johnson, consumer marketing specialist

freemiumsstackedlinesWhen OSV first started offering free downloads based on our books — which we call “freemiums” — the strategy was mainly focused on drawing in new book customers. As we learned from these first efforts, we were able to refine our offerings in a way that made a bigger impact on sales, while still acquiring new names for our consumer list.

Our new freemium model focuses on a “try it before you buy it” idea. We work with authors and members of our editorial and book acquisition teams to come up with extra content that we use to create our free downloads. Having these free options allows consumers to get a feel for what the book will be like before actually buying it. Offering something free also shows readers our priorities it really isn’t all about sales. It’s about helping people know, live and love their faith.

We promote all our freemiums to our growing consumer email list, and on our social media platforms. Freemiums are also a great tool for authors to use too! To check out all our free downloads, just click here.

Have an idea for a free download that goes along with your book? Just let us know! Email Polly at pking@osv.com.

Thinking of podcasting?

podcastpngSeems like everyone is talking about, listening too or planning a podcast. Why not you? It’s another avenue to share your expertise and reach readers. Visit betternews.org for a primer on getting started in podcasting. Lots of good advice!

Check out some Catholic podcasts:

 

August newsletter is out

august18enews2The August edition of the OSV Author Toolkit newsletter is out! If you didn’t receive it, just click here and you can read it online. Toolkit Team members Rebecca, Alyssa and book editor Darrin contributed to this issue.

If you know a prospective author who might enjoy the monthly enews, let us know! Just email Cathy at cdee@osv.com.

Is there anything you’d like us to cover on the blog or in the newsletter? Email Cathy and let us know.

Toolkit team spotlight: Book editor Darrin Malone

Darrin Malone

Book editor Darrin Malone

Darrin grew up in Florida and graduated from the University of Florida with a degree in religious studies, specializing in patterns of American religion. After that, he spent 12 years as an active-duty Air Force officer before settling in Indiana to became a book editor. It may sound like an odd transition, but if you see the massive book collection he acquired while moving from base to base in the military, it might make more sense. After becoming an editor, he continued serving in the Air Force Reserve for another 12 years.

Outside of work, he lives vicariously through his two children by attending athletic events (he was never an athlete himself) and band competitions (he was a self-professed band geek in high school and college). With his youngest now entering her senior year of high school, Darrin currently serves as the president of the band boosters parent organization at her school.

Darrin and his wife also enjoy playing team trivia with a group of friends at local venues. He rounds out their team with his knowledge of religious and military issues. Occasionally the two subjects converge, such as when they got the following question: Evangeline Booth was the first female general of what army? (Answer: The Salvation Army)

A few of Darrin’s favorite things:

  • Sweet tea
  • The space program
  • Comparative religion.