Best Book Business Interviews of 2014
One of the best parts of my job is picking the brains of some of the most intelligent and forward-thinking leaders in the book industry and learning how they drive success in their businesses. Whether it's forming direct relationships with their readers or exploring new digital products and services, these publishers are pushing the envelop of what it means to be in the book business. Following, I've compiled the best interviews we conducted last year in the hopes that you can apply what we learned to your successful evolution in 2015.
Perseus CMO Rick Joyce on Battling the Homogenization of Books - Perseus Books Group CMO Rick Joyce, like any good marketer, views his role as a communicator of value. Having worked in the music industry during iTunes' 99-cent-song upheaval, Joyce witnessed the devaluation of an entire industry. In order to avoid a similar homogenization in the book industry, Joyce advises fellow publishers to emphasize each book's situational value to the right consumer, at the right time, and on the right channel.
Merriam-Webster Adapts to a Mobile World - Reference publishing at first glance may seem like a dying trade -- with the rise of Dictionary.com and hundreds reference sites and apps. But Merriam-Webster president John Morse and VP of business development Matthew Dube see a bright future. Here they share the reference publisher's evolving mobile, digital strategy that enables the 172-year-old publisher to captivate a new audience of word-lovers.
Oyster's Matthew Shatz on Helping Publishers Tap Next Generation of Readers - Oyster, a leading ebook subscription service, has made headlines since its launch in 2012 causing pundits to debate whether it is a masterful solution for backlist discoverability or a cannibalizer of book sales. Despite publishers' reservations the service has grown its all-you-can-read library to over 1 million titles. Here Oyster's head of strategy and partnerships Matthew Shatz shares the company's vision for tapping young and mobile readers and advancing the publishing industry.
Wiley Aims For Intelligent Digital Content - It's not enough to offer textbooks digitally, asserts Sesha Bolisetty, VP of content management at Wiley Education. The content must also be intelligently connected so that students can easily flow across platforms. In this interview, Bolisetty explains how Wiley is ramping up its adaptive learning and enhanced media efforts.
The Innovators - Perhaps one of my favorite interviews of 2014, The Innovators is a forward-looking feature that includes Q&As with four executives hailing from the general trade, hobbyist, and academic publishing sectors. HarperCollins chief digital officer Chantal Restivo Alessi, Open Road's EVP of production Luke Parker Bowles, MIT Press Director Ellen Faran, and Stonefly Press co-founder Robert Clouse share the innovative strategies that have grown their businesses into highly profitable enterprises.