Increasing Sales, One Chapter at a Time
Wikert also mentions publishers’ blogs as a means for publishing companies to tap into communities. In early 2005, Wikert launched his own blog, “Joe Wikert’s Publishing 2020 Blog,” (www.joewikert.com) which reaches 1,200 to 1,400 people a day. (Log onto BookBusinessMag.com for more on Wikert’s blogging experience.)
Tapping Into New Technologies
As with other areas of book publishing, new media––and how to not only utilize, but capitalize on, new media––is likely on every professional publisher’s mind. “It’s all about offering quality content,” says John Jenkins, senior vice president and publisher of Washington, D.C.-based CQ Press, and co-chair of the Professional and Scholarly Publishing Division of the Association of American Publishers Books Committee. “That means listening to your market, offering the right content in the format that buyers want––and it won’t always be an ink-on-paper book.”
“If you think book publishers just sell [printed] books, you’re in trouble,” says Arthur Chou, publisher, El Monte, Calif.-based WBusiness Books. According to Chou, WBusiness Books, which launched about two years ago, is exploring the use of new technologies in its publishing strategy and is building a committee to specifically address these issues. Currently, the publisher is offering to readers online materials that appeared in the author’s original manuscript, but were cut from the print edition.
“Especially with business books, people don’t like to read very thick books, [so we cut a manuscript down] to about 50,000 to 55,000 words [for print],” says Chou. “There’s a lot of good information [in the remaining material] that we put on our Web site.”
Chou mentions that, in the future, WBusiness Books is contemplating selling its books by the chapter. “With professional books … [sometimes] you just need one chapter,” he says. “It makes perfect sense.”
Vondeling agrees. “We’re seeing trends that people are increasingly wanting their materials in smaller chunks, especially in digital space,” she says. “So we’re moving pretty quickly toward developing the capacity to have chapter downloads.”