Special Report: The Brand's the Thing
"For example, we have dozens of partnerships with bookstores in which we provide them with discounted books—frontlist and backlist—in exchange for a dedicated, branded shelf inside the bookstore of our titles. We also partner with like-minded organizations, like the Post Carbon Institute, on guides and series of books that help communities shape their own future."
But the process begins much earlier. "It also starts at the acquisition process," says Totten. "And that means editors being fully engaged in what will further not just the Chelsea Green mission, but keep us a leading voice in whatever niche a potential books falls into as a category."
This niche-level branding has significant advantages. Joe Wikert, general manager and publisher of O'Reilly Media, the popular publisher for software developers, says branding and curation have been key to their long-term success. "O'Reilly as a brand has always represented a reliable resource to developers. They would seek out an O'Reilly book on a topic. You don't see that in most genres of publishing. … In fact, [because readers seek us out] we generate more ebook revenue through our direct channel than we do through ebooks on Amazon."
Wikert says O'Reilly aims to be thought of as a publisher that is forward-thinking, trustworthy and that amplifies the voices of the developer community. They have accomplished that task in several ways:
1. O'Reilly has invested in launching and sustaining niche conferences around the world:
•Tools of Change for publishers
•Strata for data geeks
•Velocity for web-infrastructure engineers
•and OSCon for the open source software community
This conference-marketing approach brands the company as the friendly center of a community of experts, introduces O'Reilly Media to a constant stream of new authors, and boosts the company's credibility within its niche and sub-niches. Conferences are also a potential profit-center for the company.
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