Marketing

Hooked on Rapid Growth
August 1, 2007

Hooked on Phonics was created in 1987 as an instructional program to assist school-age children who were struggling with reading skills. Sold primarily through infomercials, the name grew increasingly recognizable as more and more television viewers stumbled upon the advertisements and their memorable “Hooked on Phonics worked for me!” tagline. Throughout the 1990s and into the early 2000s, the company introduced a handful of additional products, including “Hooked on Math,” but still remained true to its original direct-to-consumer sales model. In 2005, Hooked on Phonics, now known as HOP LLC, was acquired by Baltimore-based Educate Inc. (which also owns Sylvan Learning Center) and was

Lantern Books Exec ‘Cynically Optimistic’ About the Future
August 1, 2007

Martin Rowe labels his view of the book business “cynically optimistic.” The director of publishing for Lantern Books, a relatively small, independent publisher of spiritual, social, environmental and animal advocacy titles, Rowe draws upon a diverse career that has led to his well-rounded view of the business of book publishing. And this view, he says, is changing as rapidly as the industry itself. Prior to co-founding New York-based Lantern Books with the company’s CEO and president, Gene Gollogly, Rowe held positions in distribution, research and promotions, as an author, and in a handful of other roles that even included a job in a bookstore.

BRING YOUR BOOKS TO LIFE ON THE WEB
August 1, 2007

he idea is pretty straightforward: Release a book, create a Web site to go along with it, and, voila, you’ve got yourself a surefire marketing tool. Just putting something on the Web is no guarantee of success, however, which may be why, for many publishers, this simple formula ends up having a lot of variations. Book-companion Web sites—portals providing access to authors, blogs, online forums, games, contests and other multimedia offerings—play a significant role in the world of online book promotion. Standing at the intersection of traditional, publisher-designed marketing strategies, author-driven promotion and self-perpetuating “viral” marketing, thoughtfully planned book-companion Web sites offer

Webcasts: A Hot Marketing Tool
August 1, 2007

The June release of British writer Ian McEwan’s “On Chesil Beach” was accompanied by screenings of a 28-minute film profiling the author at dozens of bookstores in the United States. According to producer Powell’s Books, the film aimed to go beyond the traditional author reading to inspire “spirited discussion about great new books and their impact on readers’ lives.” This was, perhaps, an innovative and effective tool for promoting McEwan. But if proponents of the emerging tool of webcasting are proven right, the logistical challenges accompanying such an operation (and those inherent in luring a finite set of audience members to bookstores to watch

New Program to Encourage Reading
July 20, 2007

Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House Inc., has introduced a new program titled “Color to Read,” a loyalty program designed to reward children as they take the first steps toward independent reading. Starting in August, the back cover of select color and activity titles will be tagged with a Color to Read cutout token. The program works by allowing consumers to collect the tokens and redeem them for selected titles from the Step Into Reading program. Consumers can visit ColorToRead.com to print and fill out a book request, and mail it with their tokens to Random House Children’s Books. The company

Building a Core Audience: The MySpace Payoff
June 15, 2007

As a writer, I have been a member of MySpace.com for several years and have been taking advantage of the social networking opportunities that exist. When I joined, the site had around 70 million members; today it has surpassed 183.7 million members. Many in publishing are realizing the value of making a connection via social networking. At this year’s Book Expo America, authors and publishing executives shared social networking tips at a session titled “MySpace for Authors and Publishers: Everything You Need to Know to Make it Payoff.” The panel included Richard Nash, publisher of Soft Skull Press; Barry Lyga, author; Josh Kilmer-Purcell, author;

‘The Green Book’ Uses Celebs, Tips to Appeal to the Public
June 1, 2007

Green is the new black … or is it the new pink? Either way, green is in. With more and more of corporate America joining the green movement, environmental sustainability continues to gain momentum in society. But the decision to do one’s part to help the environment starts with the individual, which is exactly who one publisher is betting on with its launch of “The Green Book” this month. “The Green Book,” penned by Elizabeth Rogers and Thomas M. Kostigen, is a collection of more than 400 tips people can incorporate into their everyday lives to make a positive impact on the environment. Most

Exclusive Interview: Jane Friedman, President and CEO of HarperCollins Publishers, Offers Insights On Motivation, Mentors and More
May 4, 2007

Jane Friedman, president and CEO of HarperCollins Publishers has been a driving force behind the creation of multi-media pronged author tours, Publishing Plus and more. Friedman has a 39-year career in publishing and is considered a mentor by many in the industry. Book Business Extra spoke with her in this exclusive interview. She shares insights behind her career accomplishments, motivation and advice to others. EXTRA: You are credited with creating the author tour in 1970 as a publicist who took cook and author Julia Child around to different store locations promoting her book. Can you explain the experience for our readers? FRIEDMAN: I actually

“Today” Inspires Summer Reading
May 4, 2007

NBC’s “Today” recently launched “Al’s Book Club for Kids,” a four-part series aimed to engage children in reading during the summer break and centered around the morning show’s popular weather man Al Roker. The new series has partnered with Scholastic’s Summer Reading Buzz! Campaign, which challenges kids to read four or more books during their months-long hiatus from the classroom. Both programs hope to combat what commonly is referred to as the “Summer Slide,” when children experience a loss of skills attributed to being out of school for a prolonged period of time. “Scholastic is proud to join with ‘Today’ to promoted

The View From the Top
May 1, 2007

HarperCollins Publishers Worldwide, one of the five largest book publishers in the world and a subsidiary of News Corp., is strategically focused on a digital evolution that will shape the company’s goals and mission in the future. The foundation of this evolution can be traced back 10 years to when Jane Friedman was hired as the company’s president and CEO. According to Friedman, in the past 10 years HarperCollins has increased profits by more than 1,000 percent and its total revenue went from $600 million to $1.3 billion in 2006. The company publishes an average of 4,300 titles globally per year, with 3,100 employees