Teaching Books.net - A Success Story from Madison, WI
TeachingBooks.net, located in Madison, WI, is an internet-based resource that makes global connections between authors and teachers a reality. It can be found at www.TeachingBooks.net. Nick Glass, founder of TeachingBooks.net, started the business because he wanted to share his experience of how seeing and hearing an author changes a relationship with the book for both the student and educator. In April 2000, the idea for TeachingBooks.net took form. Their debut was at the American Library Association convention in San Francisco in June 2001. TeachingBooks was launched on the internet September 1, 2001 and began selling licenses in November 2003. Nick has seven employees that help him run TeachingBooks.
TeachingBooks was founded on the premise that educators find enjoyment and professional value in seeing and hearing authors talk about their work. Nick had hosted many author presentations in his previous work—bringing authors to bookstores, schools, libraries, and conferences—and had arranged live author programs for educators over a distance-learning video network. Each author interaction with educators inspired new insights for teaching and sharing books with children.
TeachingBooks.net’s mission is to generate enthusiasm for books and reading by bringing authors, illustrators, and engaging resources about books for children and teens to every school, library, and home. TeachingBooks.net’s database of tens of thousands of reliable links—professionally vetted and authoritative—makes it intuitive to bring books to life for everyone across the K-12 educational landscape.
A sampling of what subscribers to this virtual encyclopedia of children’s literature resources can access are:
- Movies of authors being interviewed in their studios
- Authors introducing and reading their books
- Stimulating book discussion and activity guides
Recordings of authors and illustrators saying their names
…and much more!
When Nick quit his job to devote his energies to TeachingBooks.net, he knew he had to learn about business. He took a business fundamentals class at the SBDC and upon completion of the class, got counseling from SBDC and was encouraged to create a business plan. Nick’s business plan ended up in a thick binder with tabs that organize pages into all the categories of a classic business plan and has a prominent place on a shelf in his office. Nick continues with SBDC counseling as he pursues his dream. Recently, he revisited the plan and drafted a 30-page snapshot of where the business is and what he would like to see happen in the next few years.
Nick raised private financing to support his venture. His business plan has a comprehensive market research section. Revenue sources are primarily subscriptions from schools, universities, and public libraries. Currently more than 26,000 schools have licenses to TeachingBooks.net, offering instructional support to the books read by students, teachers, and families.
As Nick’s business develops and issues become more complex, he still recalls some advice he got from a man he met on a bus, “Watch your dollars and be as creative as you can early-on, because the day will come when you are not as creative as you are now.” Nick says he is in business because, “I have something I want to accomplish. This is my strength; this is what I want to do. I want this job.”