Publishing to a Higher Power
“He’s definitely not afraid to tell you what he’s thinking,” Bennett says. “He allows his employees to make their own way and have the freedom to make decisions. He cares deeply for his employees on a personal level and knows every single employee by name—from executives to the warehouse employees.”
David Lewis, director of sales and marketing at Baker Publishing Group, says that Baker is both very intelligent and humorous. “He cares deeply not just about books, but also about the people who work for him,” Lewis says. “He’s fair and accessible, and always has an open-door policy. The fact that Baker has one of the lowest turnover rates in our industry speaks to me about the fact that many of us here at Baker enjoy working for Dwight and the Baker family, and truly do respect him as well.”
Baker seems the most proud of his employees’ job satisfaction.
“Our complete publishing division, with 189 people, maintained 98 percent employee retention in 2006,” he says.
Sales and Success Stories
At Baker Publishing Group, however, it seems there are many reasons to be proud.
The publishing company consists of six divisions within the group. It includes Bethany House, Revell, Baker Books, Baker Academic, Chosen Books and Brazos Press. According to Baker, in 2006 Baker Publishing Group surpassed $50 million in annual sales. This number has been steadily rising with the company bringing in $45 million in 2004 and $49 million in 2005.
“Curiously, our fastest-growing division is also our oldest,” Baker says. “Founded in 1870 and purchased by Baker in 1992, Revell has experienced 14-percent average annual sales growth since 2003.”
According to 2006–2007 fiscal YTD (10 months), Bethany House leads the divisions with 43 percent of the company’s total publishing sales. Revell makes up 25 percent.
Revell’s title “90 Minutes in Heaven” has sold 1.4 million copies since 2004. As of March, it still held the top sales position on the Christian Retailing best-seller list.