Blogs

How to Sell Books in the Multi-Billion Dollar Gift Shop Market

The National Park Service turned 100 on August 25, 2016. Given this historic milestone, it seems appropriate to talk about how publishers can sell books through gift shops at parks and historic sites. Gift shops offer a significant opportunity to publishers, particularly those that create educational content about local history. Millions of consumers visit national…

3 Ways to Retain & Grow Newsletter Readership

When it comes to email marketing, publishers and online media groups rely on this channel more than most businesses to attract audiences to their content. The larger and more engaged the subscriber base, the higher the ad revenue; it’s no secret that digital publishers must make newsletters enticing to drive readership and website visits. Despite…

What the Military, Chromebooks & Teacher Training Tell Us About the Future of Education Publishing

As a consultant whose primary business focus is educational publishing, I try to read as widely as I can about developments in K-12 education and educational technology. Three articles I read recently, addressing seemingly unrelated topics, led me to draw some conclusions about the future of K-12 education publishing. The headlines of these articles (which…

Other Staff Bloggers
Sales, Marketing & Data Intel

The National Park Service turned 100 on August 25, 2016. Given this historic milestone, it seems appropriate to talk about how publishers can sell books through gift shops at parks and historic sites. Gift shops offer a significant opportunity to publishers, particularly those that create educational content about local history. Millions of consumers visit national…

When it comes to email marketing, publishers and online media groups rely on this channel more than most businesses to attract audiences to their content. The larger and more engaged the subscriber base, the higher the ad revenue; it’s no secret that digital publishers must make newsletters enticing to drive readership and website visits. Despite…

Do you still shop at your local bookstore? I typically go once, maybe twice a year, and the last time for me was December 2015. I made a rare summer visit to my local Barnes & Noble this weekend in search of books for my almost six-month-old grandson, Jasper. No matter how good Amazon makes…

Ebooks & Digital Media

As a consultant whose primary business focus is educational publishing, I try to read as widely as I can about developments in K-12 education and educational technology. Three articles I read recently, addressing seemingly unrelated topics, led me to draw some conclusions about the future of K-12 education publishing. The headlines of these articles (which…

Long considered nothing more than a gimmicky fad, it turns out that augmented reality (AR) is actually alive and well. At least that’s the case when it’s associated with a brand as large as Pokémon. By now you’ve undoubtedly heard all the Pokémon Go stories and maybe you’ve even dodged a player or two, overly-focused…

Change has always been a constant in the publishing business, and of course change is a natural state in all of our lives. What’s different today is that change is occurring faster than it ever has before. Carolyn Pittis, director of Welman Digital, pointed out at the Yale Publishing Course on Monday, that the Agricultural…

Business Strategy

Marshall McLuhan, the famous social scientist, told us more than 50 years ago that newer and more powerful means of communication have turned the world into a "global village," something that brings people together at one level, but at another level, complicates social relationships. A bigger, worldwide, audience increases the number of people who might…

This post examines the latest quarterly financial reports from the big 5 book publishers and tries to draw some conclusions from the data. The big 5 are, of course, Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster. These companies are often seen as emblematic of the state of traditional trade book publishing in…

My first career job out of college was working for a husband- and wife-owned press in Berkeley, California. Though both Berkeley and that press had a bit of a radical past, I wouldn’t realize until years later that the business dealings I was exposed to at that press would end up challenging people’s notions of…

Printing & Manufacturing

Once you’ve got a clutch of titles on order, all approved and ready to go to print with stores eager to put your books on the shelves, the process of distribution can create challenges that unfortunately might be recognized too late in the supply chain. You’re probably all too familiar with the stress of having…

You’ve been hearing it a lot lately: Print-on-demand is changing publishing. Advances in technologies have brought reduced turnaround times, lower costs, higher quality, and less risk. As a result, businesses focused on print-on-demand are emerging, including independent, on-demand-focused publishers that serve both traditional book models and a changing vanity publishing marketplace. One group that’s often…

Books as a technology have been around for such a long time that it’s easy to forget that they were once major innovations themselves: Before the book there was the scroll, and the clay tablet before that, and it wasn’t until the end of the 16th century that modern indexes were invented, still largely the…

News

Scholarly publishing is a technology business. That’s been true for some time, of course. Yet the technology-driven approach to business is profoundly and fundamentally different from traditional publishing practices. How can scholarly publishers reconcile that dichotomy? How should a publisher utilize today’s technology in order to drive innovation? Those were the questions recently put to…

Remember the excitement surrounding the launch of Amazon’s Kindle eight years ago? It was a clunky device, even by 2007 standards, but it was revolutionary. One of the original Kindle’s breakthrough features was the ability to download books via cellular network. The e-Ink display and extremely long battery life also led to its popularity despite…

In a trendy coffee shop called Elixr, on a side street off of Philadelphia’s toney Rittenhouse Square, there is funky décor, loud music, strong coffee, and, by the door, a small vending machine. From this machine, for two dollars, one can purchase not cigarettes or candy or any of those other typically unhealthy vending machine wares, but, instead, a short story.