Media

Small-scale publisher carves niche in digital age

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Cancer Slam Gets Glowing Review in The Pink Paper Magazine

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Hide House home to HenschelHAUS Publishing

Kira Henschel and Riley —photo Katherine Keller

Bay View Compass
April 2, 2012
http://bayviewcompass.com/archives/10716

The Hide House in Bay View is home to a diversity of small businesses and studios occupied by artists, photographers, and musicians. For the past two years, Bay View resident Kira Henschel has been operating HenschelHAUS Publishing on the second floor of the venerable old complex.

What could be described as a one-stop-shop for all writing and publishing needs, Henschel’s services include coaching clients in writing and publishing, manuscript review, typesetting, book and cover design, editing, proofing, layout, marketing support, and product distribution and fulfillment. She even guides authors with book award submissions.

The Hide House in Bay View is home to a diversity of small businesses and studios occupied by artists, photographers, and musicians. For the past two years, Bay View resident Kira Henschel has been operating HenschelHAUS Publishing on the second floor of the venerable old complex.

What could be described as a one-stop-shop for all writing and publishing needs, Henschel’s services include coaching clients in writing and publishing, manuscript review, typesetting, book and cover design, editing, proofing, layout, marketing support, and product distribution and fulfillment. She even guides authors with book award submissions.

Henschel helps her clients create traditional hard copy books, as well as audio and e-books. But she has not always worked in publishing.

After earning her bachelor degrees in geology and international relations at UW-Madison, she moved to Innsbruck, Austria in 1979 to take care of her grandmother. There, she studied business, worked for the University of Innsbruck, and established her own technical translation agency in 1984 with 60 freelance translators for 32 different languages. Her team translated technical documents in the fields of engineering, business, and geology, as well as books with topics as divergent as Haflinger horses, the Austrian political system, and childhood trauma.

Henschel is bilingual in German and English; she spoke German in her home during childhood. Her Vienna-born father, Ernest Henschel,  and her mother, Ann Bardeen-Henschel, a native of Madison, Wis., were both anesthesiologists. They moved from Canada in 1960 and settled in Milwaukee, where both worked for the Medical College of Wisconsin. (Henschel’s uncle, John Bardeen, won two Nobel prizes in physics, one for inventing the transistor, 1956; one for superconductivity, 1976.)

Selling the translation agency in 1990, Henschel returned to Wisconsin in 1992, where she received a master’s degree in Engineering Management from the Milwaukee School of Engineering, then worked for Siemen’s Power Generation in West Allis as head of translations. In 1996, she and her daughter, Loris, moved to Madison, where she served as production manager for A-R Editions, a small specialty-publishing house, and learned the craft and business of publishing “from the inside out.”

In 1999, Henschel founded Clarity Consultants where she provided business coaching, which blossomed into a book publishing and consulting firm. Henschel designed her business to provide services for “the 82% of the population who want to write a book.” She said a lot of people have “write my book” on their bucket list.

Henschel said that guiding a client often means helping them organize a jumble of thoughts and ideas. “Whenever I work on a book,” Henschel said, “I want it to be the best book possible.”

She strives to preserve a client’s individuality. “I don’t want to take [their] voice away. I just want to make the book more easily understandable,” she said. “[This] doesn’t have to be hard. It doesn’t have to be this long, drawn-out thing.”

Henschel’s clients learn how to set measurable goals and she gives them the tools required to put their ideas on paper, navigate the publishing process, and market their book.

Some of Henschel’s clients are consultants or experts in their field who want to publish a book, some in order to be able to sell the book at speaking engagements. “Mostly people I work with want to write a book about their business,” Henschel said. “I work primarily with life coaches, with consultants, and presentation speakers. That’s pretty much my audience.” She also publishes works of fiction and memoirs.

Henschel said her clients’ book editions typically range from 25 to 1,000 copies, although she has printed editions as large as 10,000.

She’s also working on a book of her own about the publishing process, “The Art and Science of Successful Authorship.” “I don’t think there are a lot of books on how to put a book together with the market in mind,” she said. Her book will offer advice about the business of writing. A published book is the first step; the next step is selling that book. Successful authors work hard to market and sell their work and the message. “Each book is its own little business when you approach it properly,” she said.

Also in the works is a book based on the handwritten journals of her great-grandfather who, at the age of 18, sailed with Austria’s Archduke Franz Ferdinand from Austria to Japan in 1892-1893, twelve years prior to the Archduke’s assassination that launched the First World War.

In addition to her publishing business and personal writing project, Henschel teaches business classes at Cardinal Stritch and practices reiki, a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. Until October 2011, she was also Technical and Safety Manager at the Association of Equipment Manufacturers in West Allis, but decided to return to publishing full time.

Henschel moved her business into Bay View’s Hide House in 2010. She appreciates the community aspect of the Hide House and the neighborhood. She likes being able to take her dog to work with her. “I love this place. It’s creative, it’s fun, it’s funky…It’s a place where work gets done,” Henschel said. Bay View is “just a nice neighborhood and I feel totally safe,” she said.

HenschelHAUS Publishing
2612 S. Greeley St., Suite 201, Milwaukee
HenschelHAUSbooks.com + Facebook and Twitter

 

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