When former Farrar, Straus and Giroux editor Jesse Coleman was looking to get back into publishing after spending years building a freelance editorial business, he found himself weighing opportunities at Big Five houses against a job at a software company. Hoping to get away from the isolation he felt as a freelancer, Coleman jumped at the chance to create a book division for a Los Angeles–based software company called NationBuilder. The company’s goal? To create the kind of nonfiction books that have consumer appeal, and extend the company’s brand.
NationBuilder, Coleman explained, sells software that helps organizations more efficiently communicate with people in their network. Particularly popular among political organizations and nonprofits, the company’s clients include schools such as Columbia University and various political candidates in the U.S. and much of Europe. (Both sides of the Brexit campaign, for example, used NationBuilder.)
That a software company would be interested in a book division seems, as Coleman acknowledged, a bit odd. But the idea for the book unit was something that began brewing when Coleman was hired as a freelance editor to work on a book that Jim Gilliam, NationBuilder’s cofounder and CEO, had written.   MORE