Rick Joyce

Matt Steinmetz is the publisher and brand director of Publishing Executive.

Ellen Harvey is the associate/digital editor of Book Business and Publishing Executive.

One of the most experimental and exciting areas of book publishing right now, especially in the trade market, is direct-to-consumer marketing. It's a topic that has been discussed extensively here on Book Business, but it's worth a deeper dive as all of the Big Five and many mid-size and small publishers have launched experiments in this field. Book Business had the opportunity to hear three forward-thinking leaders from Perseus Books Group, Hachette, and Rodale Books on the topic at our Book Business Live event in March. They offered a variety of strategies to driving greater sales, but the big lesson was that D2C marketing is really about content marketing and relationship building.

One of the best parts of my job is picking the brains of some of the most intelligent and forward-thinking leaders in the book industry and learning how they drive success in their businesses. Whether it's forming direct relationships with their readers or exploring new digital products and services, these publishers are pushing the envelop of what it means to be in the book business. Following, I've compiled the best interviews we conducted last year in the hopes that you can apply what we learned to your successful evolution in 2015.

In his previous life as a consultant for Accenture, Perseus Books Group CMO Rick Joyce helped clients in the media industry grapple with this digital upheaval. One lesson Joyce learned from working with a range of media and entertainment companies is that creating digital access alone will not stabilize the bottom line. Providing digital content with unique value and conveying that value to consumers is just as important. Otherwise, as Joyce witnessed in the music industry with iTunes' 99-cent song pricing, digital books will be homogenized and valued accordingly.

Big ideas are new ideas. Big ideas are bold ideas. Sometimes big ideas are small ideas. Often, big ideas seem wrong at first glance because they present such a different way of doing things. 

These are the types of ideas we’ve tried to capture with the Book Business Big Ideas Issue. Industry thinkers -- and readers and supporters of Book Business -- contributed mini-essays, exploring what they think are the imperatives for a thriving, progressive, effective book business.

The Publishing Hackathon, held this past weekend at coworking space The Alley in New York, gave 30 teams a little over a day to come up with an idea for a book discovery startup, build a demo and pitch it to a panel of judges. Six finalists were chosen Sunday by a panel of judges including Perseus CMO Rick Joyce and NYC Seed managing director Owen Thomas.

The winning startup will be announced at Book Expo America on May 31 and will receive $10,000 …

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