Special Report: Event Focuses on Publishing Innovation
Michael Linder, former senior vice president of strategy and new business development at religious book publisher Zondervan, said audiences expect publishers to make content as easy to use and convenient as possible. This can involve innovative platforms and modes of delivery, new types of products (such as selling by the chapter and packages tailored to certain audiences)—even creative partnerships with retailers and other book producers.
“There is a lot of room in the Internet publishing space for publishers to band together to create more aggregated content and create search facilities around that content,” he said.
Marji Ross, president and publisher at Regnery Publishing, stressed the importance of targeting an audience. “As publishers, it’s very important to know what we are good at and do more of that,” she said. “This requires knowing your market really well.”
She advised approaching “long tail” marketing strategies cautiously (“The ‘long tail’ should not wag the dog ...”), saying it is better to aggressively market to a reader base than count on micro-niches spread out across the consumer
David Borgenicht, president and publisher of Quirk Books, noted his success with “crossover” titles that do as well in gift shops as bookstores.
“Take a page from other industries [and] think about how you can build brands within your publishing companies,” he said. “Very few out there have a true brand in the traditional sense. Think about what your brand is and try to communicate that.”
The first-ever Independent Book Publishers’ Half-Day Symposium covered a variety of topics pertinent to independent publishers, with an emphasis on outside-the-box strategies.
Tanya Hall, special projects manager for Greenleaf Book Group, suggested focusing on retailers other than traditional booksellers that may complement a specific title. As an example, she noted recent success with “Green for Life,” a book about raw foods that the publisher sells in health-food and vitamin stores.
Stenhouse Publishers’ Dan Tobin, general manager, and Zsofi McMullin, Web coordinator, addressed online marketing strategies. “We’re experimenting with Web 2.0 in small, targeted ways to see what might stick that later we can charge for,” said Tobin.
McMullin discussed online strategies that Stenhouse has achieved success with, including the company’s blog. On the blog, McMullin has established “Quick Tip Tuesday,” which “trains” visitors to return to the site at least once a week and, by drawing tips from backlist titles, promotes those titles.
To view photos from the event please visit the Publishing Business Conference's Flickr page.
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