The View From the Top
“I think that for a marketer … the Web has been the most incredible invention because we can reach so many people in such an easy way,” Friedman says. “We are no longer a small, cottage industry that doesn’t need to make money, etc. Most of the big publishing companies are owned by media giants, and we run very fiscally responsible companies.”
Friedman believes publishers must embrace whatever they can in the digital world.
“HarperCollins is really leading the pack by building a digital warehouse, which is the digital equivalent of our physical, print warehouse,” she says. “We are doing that because we want to protect copyright, and we don’t want our digital files floating out in cyberspace.”
To date, 12,000 titles are in its digital library.
“Obviously marketing online is very big and will only get bigger,” Friedman says.
She believes the trick is to figure out how to monetize the company’s many digital book initiatives.
“We have a Browse Inside function, which means the consumer can actually read pages of our books, we have widgets now that can be put on consumer Web sites,” she says. “We are very savvy about marketing, but we must become savvy about monetizing, because this can’t just be an investment with nothing on the other side.”
Partnerships are plentiful
The company’s investment in Internet technology and marketing is a major focus right now, and Friedman is always looking for partners to help the company succeed.
“… We are always looking to partner with organizations and with other companies that fill a void, that have specialties that we don’t,” she says.
Friedman says the company is fortunate to be part of News Corp. and able to have relationships with Fox, MySpace and other branches of the company. For example, HarperCollins recently completed a viral marketing campaign using a widget on MySpace where it received close to 4.5 million hits in a week and a half.