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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

Best Practices in Online Selling
May 1, 2008

As the founder of Internet service provider Juno, Charles Ardai knows a thing or two about making a big splash on the Web. When Ardai sold his company in 2001, the entrepreneur and writer, then all of 32 years old, decided to pursue his dream of reviving the pulp-fiction genre by starting his own publishing company, Hard Case Crime. He knew from the beginning that success would require good online-selling tools. “It’s a pretty popular genre,” Ardai notes, “but it is a genre, and there is a certain fan base that loves this stuff. If you can find one of those fans, the

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 MeetUp.com—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

Opportunity Knocks
April 16, 2008

Adult trade publishers with a “change is good” attitude are finding success in today’s market. From promoting literacy to experimenting with new marketing initiatives, such as social networking sites and author videos, and new distribution formats, such as e-books and digital downloads, industry leaders are now acting upon, not resisting, the significant turn the publishing world has been taking. Data indicates that while monthly sales fluctuate, overall, sales are still up, and many publishers are proactively striving to keep them that way. Last month, The Association of American Publishers (AAP) reported that adult hardbound book sales totaled $2.8 billion in 2007, a 7.8-percent increase

Risky Business
April 16, 2008

Book publishing is not commonly identified with the sort of risk-taking that one would associate with, say, the Sergey Brins and Steve Jobses of the world. And, the last company one might expect to see out on a proverbial limb would be a publisher of dictionaries (a tradition-bound format if there ever was one)—yet it was no less a player than the stalwart Merriam- Webster that over a decade ago risked it all, so to speak, by putting its dictionary online for free. “One of the reasons we [offered early on] our biggest best-seller on the Web is that, if we take seriously that

7 Tips for Utilizing Social Media
December 1, 2007

Social media is one of the tools book publishers need to have in their Web 2.0 arsenal. Web sites such as MySpace, Facebook and Gather not only draw millions of visitors, they also provide those visitors with a platform to converse and connect around shared interests and passions. On Gather (www.Gather.com), which President and COO Carl Rosendorf describes as “MySpace for grown-ups,” “Books” is one of 11 “essential” channels that visitors can navigate to find content and conversation of interest. Gather’s “Books” group boasts more than 45,000 members, who read, contribute and/or comment on original content such as book reviews, articles and

A Lesson in E-Literacy
August 1, 2007

The education market has made major technological strides—but in some ways, it’s still a bit behind the learning curve. You hear it all the time—the joke that kids these days come out of the womb with a laptop. More than making for a painful birth, it signifies that the Internet is the future of business, in both sales and marketing. Still, most educational publishing orders are made through paper channels, and direct mail continues to be the major method to attract sales. Then again, teachers are making these purchases much more frequently than the more tech-entrenched students. “You’d think the Internet would be the main

Lustrous Beacons Enchant Buyers
January 1, 2001

The right typeface makes elegant prose more pleasing, and striking cover art can stop consumers in their tracks. Nothing new there. Indeed, such traits have always seduced book lovers. But now, thanks to breakthroughs in foil and hologram production, some book covers reflect an ongoing technical revolution. In particular, hologram pioneers are adding a new dimension to the science of making a striking book. But there are pitfalls, as well as thrilling changes, facing those publishers who hope to make use of these technologies. A New Age for Covers Joseph Funicelli, president of Unifoil Corp., Passaic Park, NJ, says that since its introduction to the book market