Meet the Adviser: Questions and Answers with Matty Goldberg of Perseus Books Group
Matty Goldberg, VP, Sales & Marketing at Perseus Books Group, started working in publishing when Funk & Wagnalls was still a vibrant trade publisher as well as the butt of many Laugh-In jokes. He has worked in retail, wholesale and publishing for the last 37 years. A lot has happened during that period, and most of it in the last five years.
He is proudest of two accomplishments:
- Opening the first two Barnes & Noble superstores — one of which is still in operation.
- Coming to work at the Perseus Books Group and helping independent publishers succeed in a highly volatile marketplace.
He has a wife who is not in publishing, but who has some overlap with it, and two sons, both of whom are better soccer players than he ever was.
How would you describe your role in the industry?
I take great pride in being the sales and marketing director for an independent publishing company committed to enabling independent publishers to reach their potential whether those publishers are Perseus-owned, joint ventures or owned by third parties. It's been a wonderful 15 years taking a company of four imprints, two of which had never published before, to a point where we work with over 360 publishers. I'm involved in almost every aspect of the business: sales — both print and digital — marketing, print decisions, acquisitions, client services and strategy, etc.
What big issues do you see publishers thinking and talking about these days?
Big issues? Where to begin? I think every publisher, no matter what their size, is wrestling with a rapidly evolving marketplace, with discoverability for their titles, with the digital transformation of the industry and a host of other issues. They're thinking about these big issues while keeping the boat afloat — working as hard as ever on the book they're publishing here and now. It often feels like everyone in the industry is now doing two jobs — their old job and their still-forming new job.
What's the biggest challenge publishers face today in marketing themselves?
I think that really for the first time publishers are marketing their brands. Social media and direct sales have allowed publishers to interact directly with book consumers in ways that were never possible before. As far as the biggest challenges, one would be finding the people in-house, or bringing them in, who understand the new landscape where direct relationships between publishers and readers are now possible. Finding the resources to continue to promote books while promoting the imprint brand stretches already stretched resources.
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