Help Yourself to Opportunity
Krieger suggests that while multimedia may be essential, traditional sales means are by no means obsolete. “Many self-help publishers these days are still relying on bookstores as the driver of sales,” she says. “But the younger generation may be leaning more toward buying online and maybe, one day, exclusively. Because of this, every publisher must have a fresh Web site that supports the core values of the publisher,” says Krieger.
Clemens’ company isn’t waiting, however, and is pushing to build its online audience now. It is constantly trying to add spiritual groups to its e-newsletter circulation; some of these groups have memberships that reach into the millions and offer huge potential to connect more personally with these related audiences.
“Partnering allows you to go from [being] spam to being taken seriously,” he says.
David Rothenberg, CEO of Nolo, a self-help legal publisher that publishes “Patent It Yourself,” among several hundred other titles, also relies on the Internet to reach his audience. He believes offering different products that accompany a book Web site is a strong way to compete.
“Thirty years ago, the only way to get [a legal] will done was go to an attorney, and our company started to show you how to put the will together yourself. But now you can go online, and interactive software can [help you create] your will—this means we have to constantly offer more value to keep up,” says Rothenberg.
In addition to offering more value, Rothenberg suggests companies should promote their multimedia products through all possible channels.
“We’re in a privileged situation because we can move our marketing spending across different marketing lines. Why not take advantage of advertising as many products as possible …? Why can’t an ad talk about both your software and your book Web site?”