Marketing Interview: The Move Toward Fluid Content
August 1, 2008

The Web is an ever-changing animal. Keeping that in mind, the most successful online marketing executives must think in the future tense: coming up with inventive, original ideas to help publishers stay ahead of the game. Jeff Yamaguchi, associate director of online marketing for Random House Inc. division The Doubleday Publishing Group, is one such innovator, and he fills us in on a little secret—that the future tense is not enough. In June, Yamaguchi launched Doubleday’s newly revamped Web site, which uses a WordPress platform to simulate the look and usability of a blog while maintaining Doubleday’s integrity and standards as a

Connect With Your Customers Through Video: A Q&A with Suzie Sisoler, HarperCollins’ director of online consumer marketing.
July 25, 2008

HarperCollins Publishers’ new in-house broadcast studio—developed and built in the company’s Manhattan offices earlier this year—regularly produces promotional videos featuring its authors. The objective: To create video content to help generate excitement for hundreds of new HarperCollins book titles each year. Thanks to positive consumer response to the videos, the publishing house has an ongoing appetite for producing this type of content—one that it is quickly feeding. Last month, Book Business Extra spoke with Marisa Benedetto, executive producer of the broadcast studio, and Ana Maria Allessi, vice president and publisher of HarperMedia, about how the videos are created ( In this edition, Suzie Sisoler,

Borders and Vuguru to Distribute Online Prequel to Cook Novel
June 20, 2008

Borders and Vuguru, an independent media studio owned by Michael Eisner, will distribute a Web series, “Robin Cook’s Foreign Body: The Prequel,” through the retailer’s newly launched site. The series, which will consist of 50 two-minute episodes, is a prequel to Robin Cook’s new novel, “Foreign Body,” which will be released by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Aug. 5. The first two episodes of the series premiered Tuesday at, where customers also can pre-order copies of the book. New episodes are available daily, culminating in the final installment airing Aug. 4, the day before the release of Cook’s book. “By teaming with Vuguru

Creating Promotional Video: HarperCollins executives talk about the publisher’s new in-house studio
June 6, 2008

Last month, HarperCollins announced the creation of an in-house Internet broadcast studio to create author videos for sales, marketing and promotional opportunities. Five-hundred promotional videos featuring authors from the publisher’s roster are expected to be produced each year. Using HarperCollins’ fellow News Corp. sibling The Wall Street Journal as a model for the venture, the studio was developed with a newsroom environment in mind, according to HarperCollins representatives. Marisa Benedetto, who was formerly a multimedia producer at the Journal, joined HarperCollins to serve as executive producer of the new venture. Benedetto reports to Ana Maria Allessi, vice president and publisher of HarperMedia. Both

Gene Therapy
June 1, 2008

“Today the book business stands at the edge of a vast transformation, one that promises much opportunity for innovation: much trial, much error, much improvement.” —Jason Epstein (“Book Business: Publishing Past, Present and Future,” Norton 2001) That was seven years ago, and today, innovation and experimentation—trial and error—is the theme of the Book Industry Study Group (BISG) report “From Experimentation to Innovation in the Digital Age.” The report contains the results of a survey on the industry’s attitudes and actions pertaining to experimentation (more on page 7). It also contains case studies—based on interviews conducted by Mike Shatzkin, founder/CEO of The Idea Logical Co.,

Wiley Merges Old and New
June 1, 2008

Having recently celebrated its 200th year, John Wiley & Sons Inc. is among the oldest independent publishers in the world. You don’t survive two centuries without an ability to change with the times. That, says Christine Dunn—the focus of this month’s Marketing Interview—is a core strength of Wiley’s. “Wiley hasn’t been around 200 years by not trying new things every now and then,” says Dunn, director of marketing for Wiley’s professional and trade division, home to such popular brands as “For Dummies,” “Frommers,” “CliffsNotes” and “Betty Crocker.” “… When you have the luxury of [working for] an organization that runs smoothly doing things it

HarperCollins Launches In-House Digital Video Studio
May 9, 2008

HarperCollins Publishers has announced the creation of an in-house Internet broadcast studio. The studio, modeled on a newsroom environment, has been developed to create author videos for sales, marketing and promotional opportunities, says the publisher. Marisa Benedetto, formerly of the Wall Street Journal, has been named executive producer of the studio. HarperCollins plans to produce about 500 videos—which will be available on author and title pages—per year. The publisher’s publicity and marketing teams will use the content to promote authors on blogs and Web sites, as well as to the media and to bookstores. “The studio allows us to be a

Launch Pad: Crashing a Marketing Campaign
May 1, 2008

Who is God? What is worth fighting or dying for? Can different religions coexist? These were just a few of the questions that French filmmakers Jules and Gédéon Naudet set out to answer in meeting with some of the world’s most revered spiritual leaders for their television documentary “In God’s Name,” which aired on CBS in December 2007. The Naudets garnered worldwide recognition in 2002 for their documentary “9/11”—recipient of that year’s Emmy for Best Documentary and a result of their own experiences in Lower Manhattan on Sept. 11, 2001. In the several years that followed Sept. 11., the Naudets began to question

Henry Holt Experiments With Online Marketing: A Q&A With Marketing Director Richard Rhorer
April 25, 2008

Earlier this year, Richard Rhorer, marketing director at Henry Holt and Company, chose the online social-networking site—on which visitors meet around a shared interest, first online and then in person—to help better connect the publisher with its readers. To help spread the word about an upcoming release, “What Was Lost,” he used the online tool to invite Web-savvy book lovers to come together at a Manhattan bar with the book’s author, Catherine O’Flynn. Attendees were mailed galleys of the book ahead of time, and about 50 people showed up for the event. “Getting 50 people to attend an event for an unknown author

Launchpad: Marketing on Cruise Control
March 1, 2008

If you look at “Tom Cruise: An Unauthorized Biography” as an equation—say, America’s most controversial A-lister + one of the world’s most titillating celebrity biographers + a secretive, litigious religion (+ as a bonus, a Writers Guild strike that has much of the entertainment biz on its heels)—you might guess that a publisher needs simply to sit back and let the money roll in. But that’s just never the case, is it? Yes, the book’s publisher, St. Martin’s Press, is reveling in the eye of what we’ll call a perfect storm of self-perpetuating buzz with the Andrew Morton-penned celeb-bio. Yes, prelaunch reports