Publishing to a Higher Power
However, the company has been increasingly using the Internet successfully as a marketing channel, and Baker says a shift was necessary.
“We noticed that traditional methods, particularly consumer catalogs, produced weaker results with each passing season. We had to respond creatively or risk losing access to our readers,” he says.
Baker’s divisions—Revell in particular—have been taking advantage of marketing opportunities on the Internet in the form of webcasts. (You can view a free webinar featuring several of Revell’s efforts, among others, at BookBusinessMag.com.)
It also just launched in March a new blog site, Emersionbooks.com—the first blog site among Christian publishers, according to the company. The blogs introduce Baker’s partnership with Emergent Village on emersion: Emergent Village Resources for Communities of Faith, including a line of books.
Through the blog site, the company aims to engage the audience in conversations about the books, and encourage them to share information about their faith and lives—in other words, to develop communities.
“Book publishing is a service of community-building between authors and their readers. The use of technology … may brilliantly serve that purpose, but not supplant it,’ says Baker. “Publishers who generate books would do well to keep that focus. The readers who continue to buy books, in spite of other media options, are the group that we most need to impress. Poor writing in a sophisticated electronic format is still only that: poor writing. If we produce good quality books, the rest of our activity here is simply support.” BB