Master the Web By the Book
"Our site is there for several reasons: One is to promote and market our books and make it easy for people to find them and buy them," says Khazaei. "The other reason is to have a positive first impression for the company. And that is because of the fact that we believe the Internet is where people are going more and more to find information."
Compelling presence is important, stresses Khazaei, who is constantly working on making the HarperCollins' site "more appealing and user-friendly." Khazaei explains, "We manage our site with that expectation. Our site is not the singular online activity that we carry out for the purpose of promoting and selling our books. It's one of them." HarperCollins is going to start using a database-driven model, where the pages are dynamically created off the database each time they are loaded. "It's much easier to manage that way," he comments.
Fay Shapiro, publisher of Oxbridge Communications, New York, NY, says her company is using the Web as a marketing tool to provide fast access to the same type of data that the company sells in print format and CD-ROM format, as well as to sell the print books online. Oxbridge Communications has built MediaFinder (www.mediafinder.com), a Web site that lists over 100,000 titles (periodicals, directories, catalogs) in its database and offers media research services. Browsers can find publications, mailing lists, and vendors for free. (A paid subscription allows browsers to conduct more complex searches.) Within MediaFinder, an online Media Store markets the print version of Oxbridge's core product, The Standard Periodical Directory, available in most libraries throughout the country, as well as other Oxbridge's directories: The National Directory of Magazines, The Oxbridge Directory of Newsletters, The College Media Directory, The National Directory of Catalogs, The National Directory of Mailing Lists and The National Directory of British Mail Order Catalogues, among others.