16 Tips for Steering Your Company Through an Evolving Industry
1. Be creative.
As a general rule, I would suggest that if there was ever a time for “out-of-the-box thinking,” this is it.
2. Understand your total cost.
As an industry, we have had an unhealthy obsession with unit cost and not paid enough attention to the “total cost of ownership.” Publishers should understand their total cost for all major business processes and think seriously about how to reduce those end-to-end costs without compromising quality.
3. Reduce costs.
Look at your break-even point and consider what steps the organization can take to reduce it. Anything you can do to reduce your significant fixed costs will be a help.
4. Keep an eye on your capital.
If the credit markets continue to be tight, we can expect to see cuts in inventory and infrastructure investment as publishers husband cash to cover their operating requirements and as those carrying large amounts of debt manage their debt service.
TIPS FROM …
Thomas Woll, president, Cross River Publishing Consultants
Founded in 1993, Cross River Publishing Consultants (PubConsultants.com) specializes in all areas of trade, professional and college publishing, and works with large, small, for-profit and nonprofit publishers.
5. Increase your participation.
Get involved in all facets of the industry, but especially with proactive organizations such as Book Industry Study Group and the Independent Book Publishers Association (formerly PMA).
6. Do your homework.
Publishers need to research competitive books on the market, pricing, formats, use of color, key authors, current royalty rates and advances that make sense within the financial parameters of each book and key marketing outlets—both traditional and non-traditional.
7. Challenge the norms.
Think as a consumer, not as a publisher. What does the consumer want and need? How can you create products for that consumer?