Silke Hermann and Niels Pflaeging (pictured above) began publishing business books under their own brand while living in in New York City, in 2015. Several factors led to the creation of their own, joint publishing brand. Firstly, Niels found it hard to find an editor in the English-speaking world that would work with him, even though he was already a recognized author in the German-speaking world, with several bestselling books published. But there was a second reason. When talking to other authors from North America, they warned Niels about the English-language market: "There is not a single decent publisher for business books out there", peers told him, consistently. So, after a few years, Niels turned to self-publishing his work in English. Not much surprise there.
To Silke and Niels, remaining independent from commercial business book publishers had an additional advantage, though. It gave Niels full "artistic control". Which may sound rather grand in the context of the publication of business books. But consider this: Book publishers usually pick a book's trim size, they decide about the volume's title and dictate pretty much everything around cover design, paper quality and price. Little wonder that many experienced authors get intensely frustrated from working with publishers, over time. They usually feel disempowered and disenfranchised. Silke and Niels intended to move beyond common wisdom around business book: They believed (and still believe) that business books should be inviting, practical and beautiful! They think that full-color print should not be an exception with their business books, but rather the rule. They believe that moderately priced paperbacks are usually far more appealing to readers than weighty hardcovers filled with storytelling that goes on for 250 pages. They think that volume orders for corporate clients should always be attractively discounted. And so on.
The first three books from the newly established publisher called "BetaCodex Publishing" were authored by Silke and Niels. In 2015, Organize for Complexity was released, and greeted with phenomenal resonance. 2018 was the year of OpenSpace Beta. 2020 saw the publication of Essays on Beta, Vol. 1 - a collection of articles by Niels. That year also saw the publication of updated & revised editions of the two previous books. Now, a new book by Silke and Niels, Cell Structure Design, is just around the corner. But that is far from being the end of the story!
Starting in 2021
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Our new name, Follett, pays homage to the great Mary Parker Follett (1868-1933). Mary Follett was a researcher, a consultant and a daring practitioner who pioneered both the science and the practice of modern, contemporary organizational leadership. We attempt to position our publisher at the heart of what we like to call the "Follettian school of management" or the "Follettian movement" that is bound to promote a necessary renaissance in organizational management.
With Organize for Complexity, Niels began to take much of the book design and publishing process into his own hands. The swift success of Organize for Complexity in German led to Silke and Niels re-thinking their joint publication strategy, entirely. They decided to produce compact, highly visual, illustrated and graphically enhanced books, together. Not just as authors, but as producers and publishers of business books as well. Not just their own, but also those of peers who were contributing to what both call the Necessary Organizational Renaissance.
Silke and Niels are design-crazy aesthetics aficionados. The range of Follett Publishing is not limited to books, however. In 2019, Silke and Niels started to publish booklets, posters, card sets, learning boxes, learning bundles and merchandise. Check out the full range of Follett Publishing products in the Red42 web shop.
As a peer publishing group, our aim at Follett is to first build a pack, and eventually a movement of authors committed to helping bring about Beta organizations! A community that supports each other with conceiving, designing, editing and promoting their books, mutually. A bit like what Apple Records aspired to be for the Beatles and their peers, in the 1970s. The only boundaries, or the "rubber bands" that set the space for the content we publish as Follett Publishing is the 12 principles of the BetaCodex.
This is an invitation: Join us! Publish your books and learning resources with Follett Publishing. Do you have cool content? Do you want to write, develop and/or design learning materials that fits with the BetaCodex? Then let's reinvent the business book and organizational learning. Let's help make the Necessary Organizational Renaissance happen.
Join the movement. Get in touch.
"At a very reasonable price, every company should just buy several copies, read them, and see how they can implement these ideas." Harold Jarche
"In Pflaegings book, the network organization gains contour. All that is beautifully visualized. In short, Niels Pflaeging shows how to build the New Organization, encouraging us to begin building it. It´s the agenda 2014, if you will." changeX
"Very inspiring, highly likable format. This book is fun!"
"To me, even after this brief period, the book has become a frequently consulted source informing my work".
"A book that comes handy, easy to read, but without being fuzzy or unprecise. It presents a credible big picture of contemporary Organizational Development. "
5-star rating on Amazon.de.
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