Andrews McMeel's Strategy: Building 'Bench Depth'
For example, a video promoting the title "Why Dogs Are Better Than Cats" is narrated by Bradley Trevor Greive, the book's author, with personal comments about why he wrote the book, video clips of Greive with his Great Danes, and dozens of other dog images by photographer Rachael Hale from the book.
A video promoting "Baking Kids Love" shows author Cindy Mushet with her daughter, Bella, talking about how they chose recipes for the book, along with videos of them baking together and eating the finished products.
Not the least of the digital initiatives in which AMP is exploring opportunities is e-books, which is "an area of great interest," says Andrews.
Melville adds, "This is definitely an area of focus and growth for us, although the nature of our books doesn't lend itself to e-readers currently on the market. As that business matures, I think there will be more opportunity for interactive, illustrated books."
But for her, the future may be more of a hybrid between print and digital. "I am interested in the intersection between the digital, ephemeral world and the tactile, three-dimensional experience books provide. Going forward, I believe it is this relationship between these two worlds that will influence our publishing decisions in terms of acquisitions, marketing and sales."
Acknowledging that the industry is "immersed in a time of considerable change and transition in almost every area—sales, marketing, production, digital initiatives, as well as content and how it is delivered," Andrews adds, "I am continually evaluating and, if necessary, changing our business model and the way we do things. With the unprecedented changes and economic challenges in the retail environment, I am keenly attentive to our processes and execution, and securing our interest in best positioning AMP for the future."
Not So 'Ancillary'
An "all your eggs in one basket" approach can be a risky business proposition any time, but especially, as many have found, when faced with an economic recession that is impacting virtually every business segment to varying degrees. AMP has built its product line in such a way that it has several "core" divisions that help offset one another through market shifts.