The Value of Partnerships
Make friends everywhere you can.
Sure, it’s simple advice your mother probably gave you, but this and other pointers given during an hour-long look into the world of book publishing partnerships at the Book Business Conference and Expo helped shine a light on the increasing importance of collaboration throughout the industry.
Merriam-Webster President and Publisher John Morse took the reigns of the afternoon session that included Tad Crawford, Allworth Press’ president and publisher, and David Borgenicht, president and publisher of Quirk Books. The panel launched into a step-by-step breakdown or how to care for and feed partnerships. From working with cell phone companies to provide content to making deals with regional reading groups to sell books, the trio of speakers and the attentive audience of 50 industry professionals delved into an in-depth conversation about how joining forces with others helps spread content and ultimately increases profits.
Morse took the podium to reveal his “Seven Rules for the Care and Feeding of Partnerships.” His advice to the audience: Create deep relationships with anyone who can help you.
“You cannot do this all on your own,” Morse advised the crowd.
Morse said Merriam-Webster has succeeded in several areas of collaborating with other companies, including working to become AOL’s free online dictionary.
“We keep our content meaningful, our brand relevant and our company viable,” he said.
Crawford discussed several co-publishing endeavors that his company had experienced in its 18-year history of producing information books.
“Competitors can, in some instances, become partners, if there are incentives,” he said.
Borgenicht, whose company produces the “The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook” series, said his company found direct sales success by teaming up with professional organizations, nonprofits, Web sites, major corporations, magazines and ad agencies.
“We look at it as a means to do more with less,” he said of partnerships.
Borgenicht said Quirk Media expanded the “Worst-Case Scenario” brand beyond books, into cards, calendars and television.
“The results have been more sales, more exposure for our content being out there in a more diverse way,” he said. BB