S1E8 - Emond publishing - building long-form legal publishing products

S1E8 – Emond publishing – building long-form legal publishing products

The Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) partnered with vLex for an exclusive podcast series in which Colin Lachance, interim General Manager of North America for vLex, carried out out brief interviews with CALL / ACBD 2019 conference speakers, exhibitors, sponsors and organizers, about their experience at the May 2019 conference, what’s hot in their world, and their thoughts on the future. For more about the conference, visit more about vLex, visit

Deep treatment of complex legal issues in books (and digital) remains highly valued by the profession

Danann Hawes – Publisher, Emond Publishing


From “backpack to briefcase” – building a practice division in a publisher with strong and deep roots in legal education
Focused on “lost art” of high quality legal treatise publishing
Embedding in community of practitioners, users, experts and authors to determine build highly valued content
Seeing a market opportunity as traditional large publishers focus shifts

so all right so it's good to go okay so we're gonna go ready time I win all right so three two one all right so we're back at the call conference call for innovation podcast joined right now by Dane and Hans publisher with Eamon publishing Dana thank you for joining us my pleasure well I'm glad you're here so then let's what in your role as publisher tell us a bit about yourself and then tell us a bit about Eamon publishing yeah absolutely so I'm gonna Eamon publishing for about four years I was brought on to basically build their practice division so sort of our bread and butter for the last 35 plus years has been in law school and higher ed so we've been sort of the educational publisher of choice in Canada but we realized that we kind of wanted to diversify and expand so we created the practice division and obviously my focus has been heavily on criminal law but we also have email and exam prep so it's a prep courses for law clerks paralegals we also offer practice exams for immigration consultants HR securities professionals so we're kind of expanding the business in many different directions but you know I would say revenue was bread and butter is still education but they definitely be the growth drivers our practice and exam prep so as a as a Content publisher and as a business you've certainly covered the gamut both in terms of content range and but also experience range of the people as you bring them through their professional development exactly and I think that that whole sort of cycle is important the you know backpack to briefcase and given that we have that sort of entrenched footprint in law school we really want to convert a lot of those people to to you know practice resources once they're actually practicing lawyers so it's it's a good opportunity to do seen with the practice exams when they have to pass the bar they can still rely on us to sort of guide them through that process I like that phrase from back pack three things that's beautiful so even is a regular attendee a regular sponsor of the call conference so you've attended many of these yourself how do you differentiate yourself in the room what what do you bring to that room of exhibitors that's unique yeah I think I think the Neiman's trying to do is we're sort of focused on what I perceive as being a kind of lost art of of really high quality secondary content creation so you know my focus is to really embed myself in the community that I'm going after you know that the practice area that I'm focusing on I really understand who the players are and really attach the absolute best authors to the projects that are going to matter the most and for them to be really useful resource is very practical so that it's not something that just kind of sits on the shelf or kind of gets lost in the library but it's something that's actually on the desk of practitioners that they can refer to regularly those are the types of resources we create and then you know I think that there is definitely it's um you know the way that you digitally surface your content it's super important but not at the expense of you know at the end of the day con this is a Content business and we can forget about that so you know we're we're working on different ways of improving our ebook experience and we're looking at various partners to you know just give that you know greater utility but at the end of the day it's really the it's really the content that matters so that's my focus so so in in an era of everything at your fingertips call everything up immediately your experience with your clients is still that they very much need and benefit from having that richard full experience of the complete work yeah I think so and like I think the criminal law series has been sort of an example of that the feedback we've gotten has been has been really strong and that it's you know these are library resources like from the librarians they're telling us that you know the the lawyers are really using the resources and that's what we want to hear it like it's it's actually helping them with their cases they're you know there's even stories about them like stealing copies and stuff it's not that we want that but it's kind of nice to hear that they actually need it so bad that they would go to you know they would resort to that type well clearly they should just buy more copies that's what I think yeah well that's that's fantastic so within within the criminal as you mentioned what are some of the things that you're working on now yeah so we're we've got ten volumes so far we're continuing to build out sort of the first edition of it there's probably another four or five titles to go but by the end of next year it'll be wrapped up and now we're cycling into our updating experience so we just published our first second edition and then we'll just continue onwards the other big thing next year is we're gonna be publishing our first major treatise work so this is a book on modern criminal evidence and it'll be a large thousand page treatise you know meant to compete with siping qey McWilliams that sort of thing so that's gonna really I think anchor the whole series with something that is really foundational and you know should sort of you know I think have a pretty big impact on the profession so we're looking forward to that so I mean a thousand pages I'm thinking you know a couple editions of Lord of the Rings the whole Game of Thrones series date you know dick doorstop type stuff but within within the criminal criminal bar defense and prosecution and I assume the judiciary as well that's right these are incredibly valued resources yeah the feedback has been really strong we're starting to get a lot of our books cited now which is great and a lot of the courthouse libraries are picking it up so you know we're really happy with with the feedback and that it's useful for both sides right there resources I think pairing the crown and defense is something that people really appreciate and and the author's actually really enjoy working with the other side on these publications so it enriches the the writing experience for authors as well so over the years as Imam has evolved beyond and you know added to its working in educational the a backpack side of its business how of authors responded to opportunities to work with Emond yeah our authors you know like on the law school side or authors you know many of our books are long standing there in their 7th 8th to 10th edition and you know we've got a very you know a very good chunk of that market were probably 90% penetration so so that's great but you know the the authors on the practice side at the beginning they didn't really know because Iman didn't have much of a footprint practice really any footprint I was kind of starting with a blank page so when I was originally pitching projects they were like well who are you right you know you're not you know you're not like this nice is your note card as well so it took a while to kind of convince them that we were gonna legitimately compete you know starting out in criminal and but then once we started building that momentum and you know getting Brian Greenspan agenda lighted are obviously helped in criminal yeah so I mean that that was definitely a huge win that that kind of built in that credibility for me but it's you know I find publishing is really about momentum Ryan once you started getting it and once people start seeing what you're doing then people start coming to you and it becomes you know a lot easier and so looking beyond criminal future areas and and also in the context of publishing so we see the large two companies in addition to their publishing activities they continue to position themselves more now as solutions businesses as technology platforms and so on so are you seeing a goal a new golden era for the independent publisher of across all domains you know I do I do because I feel like you know as I said that there's less focus on on the creation of new content I find that a lot of the the major publishers are pumping out new editions but there not sort of creatively going after certain practices and I think one of the differentiators also is that you know I was given the opportunity at Iman to really embed myself within the criminal bar and that's made a big difference right like if you know if I ever get in trouble with the law I've got a great rolodex of criminal lawyers to rely on that's handy it is and you know it's but it's being able to embed myself like that and really understand what's going on what's topic on who the players are iman gave me the opportunity to take the time to do that and that has made a huge difference excellent excellent so the theme for the call conference this year is get informed be inspired and innovate and so what I'm what I'm hearing is that you're living up to the theme so so next year's theme call 2020 in Hamilton is I think it's something like and my apologies to Meghan see you who and Karen Sawatzky and Michael McAlpine who shared with me all of this information but I believe it's something like rebirth reinvention and reinvigorate that'll be the challenge to you so for the benefit of the people who are attending this year what kinds of things can you just broadly without spilling any trade secrets expect to be able to share with them next year and some rate wouldn't we all gather in Hamilton yeah well we are when it comes to creme we are focusing on by the fall we're gonna be creating a a really innovative current awareness product I can't talk too much about it but it's I'm hoping it has a pretty big impact on the criminal bar it'll be both current awareness and sort of a Content Marketing play for the company so we're excited about that we also have another we do have a digital product in mind we have a prototype and it is as long as it you know ultimately it works the way we think it will work I think it could be a game-changer and it's a very different way of searching secondary content online and then you know our competitors are doing so I'm interested in in market testing maths so we are working on some some some digital plays that I think could prove really useful fantastic so a lots of great stories then to Heyman thank you very much for taking the time sharing what what's happening at Emond my pleasure thanks so much all right know what no errors it's a little nerve-racking yeah

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