How Ventil Verlag is taking its internal processes to a new level

Ventil Verlag needs a flexible organisational tool for its internal publishing processes. The diverse and small organisational tasks that cannot be meaningfully mapped in any standard software led Ventil Verlag to SeaTable.

Name
Valve publisher
Division
Book publisher
Founded
1999
Location
Mainz, Germany
Employees
10-50 employees

Flexible processes require flexible tools

Ventil Verlag is a classic niche publisher, like hundreds of others in Germany. For more than 20 years, it has been producing and publishing books outside the mainstream, mainly in the fields of pop and vegan nutrition. Among the most successful publications is the book Vegan-Klischee ade! which was published in March 2020 and became a Spiegel bestseller.

The challenges of a small publishing house are manifold. There is no huge organisation with clear roles and tasks. Instead, a small team has to react flexibly to the tasks at hand and find solutions to cope with them. The core team of Ventil Verlag consists of just 6 people who are supported by external photographers, designers, editors, press workers or other freelancers. There are no fixed processes that are mapped in a publishing software, but a flexible software is needed that adapts to the changing requirements and processes.

SeaTable is super easy to understand and was immediately well received by our team. People immediately understood how to work with it.Patrick Siegmund, Head of the Vegan Division at Ventil Verlag

Keeping an overview is essential

Not long ago, coordination and planning was done by email attachment to the whole team. Everyone was aware that this could not be the solution, but experiments with Google Sheets, Trello or Asana simply did not bring the desired success. A solution like Trello, although self-explanatory, is not suitable for book planning in a publishing house, where the aim is to bring authors, photographers, illustrators and editors under one hat.

In SeaTable, on the other hand, this is very simple. While all information about the book, including cover, graphics and images, can be recorded in one table, the necessary work steps up to publication are coordinated among the participants in another table. Through the simple linking of tables, the information can be clearly structured and presented in SeaTable.

In addition, all the publisher's books are recorded in SeaTable. No other solution can so naturally record the most diverse information such as title, subtitle, author, category, edition of the programme, project management, status of the manuscript, date of publication, number of pages, price, ISBN number and the URL in the shop, and at the same time be easy to edit. In addition, staff can easily filter out titles that have already been published or sort them by "projects still in progress".

SeaTable offers the necessary flexibility

The publisher receives exposés almost daily, which have to be sifted through and evaluated. A small publishing house does not have the capacity to produce everything that sounds interesting. Instead, one has to develop a feeling for what interests the readers and what can be produced well. In the meantime, the submitted exposés are managed in SeaTable and given a status there that is visible to everyone in the team. If a text is interesting, the author is contacted and work begins. If the script is not suitable, it is archived accordingly and not pursued further.

Since the introduction of SeaTable, coordination and communication in the team has improved significantly. Less coordination is needed because everyone knows where to find the information that is relevant to them. This means that everyone in the team can concentrate more on their own topics.

Summary

"We used to try Trello and Google Sheets, but it just didn't fit. Trello limited us too much, and with Google Sheets we often lacked context. With SeaTable we always have the perfect overview."
Patrick Siegmund, Head of the Vegan Division at Ventil Verlag

  • Ventil Verlag always keeps track of its book process via linked tables. All information about the book can be perfectly linked to the planned next steps.
  • Exposés can be ideally captured and edited with SeaTable, as the submitted text documents can be filed directly in SeaTable and meaningfully assigned a status.
  • Ventil Verlag uses SeaTable for many other processes, so that everyone in the team now works with it. Training was not necessary, as SeaTable can be used intuitively.
Avatar photo
Christoph Dyllick-Brenzinger
Christoph is the founder and technical managing director of SeaTable GmbH. He is responsible for all internal IT at SeaTable and loves new and exciting challenges. In his free time, he enjoys playing tennis, exploring foreign cities with his family or playing the occasional computer game.