Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Earth Day 2011 - 41 Reasons to Plant a Tree for Your Book: Reason no. 17

We continue with our Earth Day campaign - 41 Reasons to Plant a Tree for Your Book, where we share with you 41 reasons provided by readers in celebration of the upcoming 41st anniversary of Earth Day!

With more than 180,000 trees planted so far on behalf of readers, authors and publishers working with Eco-Libris, it's no surprise that we think planting trees to green up books is a great idea.. But we also want to hear what readers think about it and why they believe planting trees for their books is a good idea.

So for 41 days until Earth Day, we publish here the 41 best replies we receive, one reply a day. All replies are gathered and presented on the Earth Day 2011page.

Reason no. 17:
Cynics call books dead trees. Planting a tree for every book brings the book back to life, several times over. It closes the loop of the publishing cycle by replenishing its principal resource. Optimists say, "Books can be live trees." - Peter Korchnak, Founder and CEO, GoodBookery and co-editor of The Portland Bottom Line: Practices for Your Small Business from America's Hotbed of Sustainability

Thank you Peter for sharing with us your thoughts on planting trees for your books!

We want to mention again the great prizes we give away on this campaign, courtesy of our partners. Winners can choose their prize from a great list of gifts including audiobooks from Simon & Schuster Audio (such as The Half Life by Jennifer Weiner, Left Neglected by Lisa Genova and Essence of Happiness by the Dalai Lama) and great books, like Planet Home by Jeffrey Hollender, Spit That Out! by Paige Wolf, Menu Dating by Tristan Coopersmith and The Healthy Home by Dave Wentz and Dr. Myron Wentz. You can see the full list of the prizes on the campaign's page.

Every day we'll give further details on one of the prizes. Today we present you with the book
Knitting Green: Conversations and Planet Friendly Projects by Ann Budd.

Knitting Green: Conversations and Planet Friendly Projects by Ann Budd - Detailing a wide range of perspectives and approaches to environmental issues, this unique crafting manual offers ideas for knitting conscientiously. Leading figures of the industry, from designers to yarn company executives, share their methods for integrating green principles into their work and lives—selecting organic products, facilitating an alternative to chemical detergent, recycling old projects, reducing disposable plastic bags, and creating pieces that provide warmth and save on energy.

Inventive and timely, this practical guidebook explains answers to important questions such as
What makes a yarn organic? and Are natural dyes safer than chemical dyes? Providing 22 clever designs for earth-friendly garments, accessories, gifts, and home furnishings, craft enthusiasts of all skill levels will enjoy projects that balance the altruism of saving the planet with the joyful benefits of their favorite hobby.

We still have some spots available so please send us your reply to
info@ecolibris.net. We look forward to hearing from you.

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: Promoting sustainable reading!

Stakeholders Unite! Tell Borders to stop the $8.3 million executive bonus plan!

I was happy to see yesterday that I'm not the only one who think that Borders' plan to hand out $8.3 million in bonuses is outrageous. It looks like Borders is taking care of its executives and forgetting that it also has stakeholders that are no less important to its future recovery.

But it doesn't have to be this way.

If you're OK with the bonuses that's fine, but if you think that this is wrongdoing, it's time to voice your concerns and tell Borders - Stop the bonuses! If many readers, authors and publishers will do it, Borders hopefully won't be able to ignore it and will have to rethink about it. And if Borders won't think it needs to take into consideration its shareholders, maybe the Honorable Martin Glenn who will review the bonus proposal will take it consideration.

Just as a reminder what we're protesting about:

Borders is seeking to hand out $8.3 million in executive bonuses, including nearly $1.7 million to President Mike Edwards. As the Wall Street Journal mentioned these bonuses are tied "to an "aggressive" time frame for exiting Chapter 11. The bonuses won't be paid if Borders liquidates"

Who will get them?

According to the WSJ "Seventeen top executives are covered by the largest program, which could add as much as $7.1 million to the pay packets of leaders who stick with the company in bankruptcy.Court papers say 70% of the group have been with the company less than 18 months, and many joined Borders less than a year ago.A second $1.2 million bonus program covers 25 "director-level" managers "critical to the debtors' reorganization and to ongoing business," court papers say."

Why we think it's wrong?

1. Morality: There's something immoral in rewarding executives if they manage to pull the company out of bankruptcy, when these are the same people that had a significant part in getting the company there in the first place. If you want to learn more on how Borders got into bankruptcy just read the excellent piece, 'Why is Barnes and Noble performing well as a business while Borders has filed for bankruptcy?' by Mark Evans, former Borders merchandising strategy & analytics director.

2. Fairness: Does it look fair to you that "For Borders' five highest-level executives, the bonuses would mean extra pay of between 90% and 150% of their base salaries, depending on how quickly the company exits bankruptcy or is sold as a going concern" (WSJ), while hundreds of employees of Borders lost their jobs in the last couple of months, many of them after many years of dedicated work for the company?

3. Stakeholders come second - The bonus plan has a clear message: Borders' executives are more important than its stakeholders, including the publishers that Borders owe so much money. Here's just a reminder of the debt we talk about - Penguin Group (USA) - $41.1 million
Hachette - $36.9 million, Simon & Schuster - $33.8 million, Random House- $33.5 million,
HarperCollins - $25.8 million.

4. Business as usual thinking - Instead of giving an example in tough times and providing customers, employees, publishers and other stakeholders with the confidence that Borders is doing business differently this bonus plan is an evidence that it's business as usual at Borders. Yes, I know there were no such incentives in 2010 and that Borders didn’t allow pay raises for the last four years, but hey, aren't you in debt of $1.29 billion? Is this the way you want to recover and compete on readers?

What you can do to tell Borders to stop its plans to pay these bonuses?

1. Share the story (check also here and here) with your friends.

2. Tweet about it with the hashtag #stopthebonuses

3. Call the Borders Customer Care Center at 800.770.7811 and raise your concerns over Borders' bonus plan.

4. Call (877-906-7675) or email (Bordersinfo@gcginc.com) the Garden City Group, Inc., the Noticing and Claims Agent in this case and raise your concerns over the bonus plan.

You can find more information and updates on the future of Borders after bankruptcy at www.ecolibris.net/borders.asp

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: Promoting sustainable reading!