Heather Fletcher

Heather Fletcher

Heather Fletcher is senior content editor with Target Marketing.

Using 'the Best Direct-Marketing Medium Ever Invented' to Sell Books

Many digital marketers like to think of themselves as reinventing the wheel—when it comes to selling directly to consumers, old-school marketers couldn't possibly have anything to teach them. That was the impression he recently got from one 20-something-year-old marketer, said Neal Goff, president of New York City-based consulting firm Egremont Associates, on Tuesday afternoon during his session at the 2011 Publishing Business Conference & Expo in New York City.

Aiming for Agility

For a company that celebrated its 50th anniversary last year, Minneapolis-based Lerner Publishing Group is not spending much time looking back at its history and tradition. Instead, it is focused on remaining lithe enough to adapt to the changing book market.

The State of Digital Book Printing

Book publishers attending the recent Publishing Business Conference & Expo in New York who were eager to learn about trends in digital book publishing had come to the right place. On March 9, the 2010 Digital Book Printing Forum was held during the conference at the New York Marriott Marquis. At the forum, representatives from Charlottesville, Va.-based Interquest, a market and technology research and consulting firm in the field of digital printing and publishing, presented findings from its new study, “Digital Book Printing: Market Analysis & Forecast, 2010-2015.”

Making Textbooks Less Expensive and More Relevant

Right around the time major news outlets were reporting on student protests regarding tuition hikes, a new kind of textbook publisher was letting scholars know that it had heard their cries for lower textbook costs. Less expensive, customized, relevant books now are available, announced DynamicBooks, a subsidiary of Macmillan Publishing.

Sell More Books Through Segmentation

If you're like most book publishers, you're always interested in finding new ways to increase unit sales, revenue and profits. One way to achieve this goal is to tap into new markets for your current titles. Easier said than done? At the upcoming Publishing Business Conference & Expo, March 8-10, in New York City, Brian Jud—president of Avon, Conn.-based Book Marketing Works—will lead a session entitled, “Sell More Books in Large Quantities, With Fewer Returns,” to help publishers discover and sell to new markets.

How a Self-Published Book Became a Best-seller

Carol Aebersold and her daughter, Chanda Bell, knew they had a winning idea when they transformed their family tradition into a book, “The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition.” But when they submitted the book—about how Santa disperses helper elves to watch boys and girls during the holidays and report back to him nightly at the North Pole—to publishers, no one wanted to take a chance on the concept.

Rivr Media Blends Books and Television to Encourage Young Readers

At a time when young children are averaging many hours of television viewing per week (The Nielsen Company recently found that U.S. children ages 2 to 5 years old are watching an average of more than 32 hours of TV a week), Knoxville, Tenn.-based Rivr Media is trying to leverage those viewing habits to engage children more in reading. The company, in partnership with Atlanta-based Dalmation Books, recently introduced a line of digital products called Moving Picture Books, which can be downloaded or purchased as a DVD, and enhances the act of learning to read with TV show-like qualities.

What's Next For Electronic Paper Display Technologies? E Ink's Sriram Peruvemba on how he expects the e-reader market to advance.

According to recent studies, big things are on the horizon for e-readers in terms of growth and revenue. A recent mediaIDEAS report forecasted that 6 million e-paper display-based e-readers will be sold in 2010—nearly six times the number (1.1 million) sold in 2008. By 2020, the report predicts global annual e-reader sales will reach 446 million units with a value of more than $25 billion. Another study, by research company DisplaySearch, says that e-paper display revenues will reach $9.6 billion by 2018.

Can Infobase Successfully Usher the World Almanac Into the Digital Age? President Mark McDonnell discusses purchasing the iconic brand at a challenging time for reference publishers.

It's well-known that reference books generally have been suffering lately, another facet of the industry that has been affected by the Internet and consumers' easy access to free information. "For 2009, revenue-wise, … we estimated reference book sales would fall much [more] than that of the other categories we expected to do poorly this year …," says Michael Norris, senior analyst at Simba Information, a market research and consulting firm in Stamford, Conn. "The simple reason is that consumers have a different relationship with reference-book content than they do with, say, a great work of fiction or an engaging biography. They mostly just need a snippet of information here and there, and being that the Web houses a lot of what a consumer thinks he or she needs, few are bothering to buy traditional reference books."

Inside the Hispanic Book Market

While the Hispanic population in the United States is expected to expand to nearly 50 million by 2010, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, current purchasing patterns indicate that this 16 percent of the nation may not buy books at the same rate as the remaining 84 percent.

Behind IREX's Partnership With Barnes & Noble: IREX's Kevin Hamilton on how the bookseller is helping his company go head-to-head with Amazon in the e-reader market.

With a partnership with Barnes & Noble anchoring the late-2009 debut of its eReader, Netherlands-based IREX Technologies hopes to propel its new e-reading device to the top of the marketplace, according to North American CEO Kevin Hamilton. In addition to the more than 750,000 e-book titles eReader users may purchase through Barnes & Noble's eBookstore—many of which are priced at $9.99—IREX's new device also will allow users to download outside content, such as from Google—a feature that distinguishes it from Amazon's Kindle.

With Digital Book Application Users in the Millions—and Growing Rapidly—Should You Be Offering Apps? A Q&A about Houghton Mifflin Harcourt's pioneering efforts with mobile phone e-book applications

Earlier this month, research company Flurry (Flurry.com) reported that between April and July, the number of digital book application users increased by 300 percent. In July, Flurry tracked nearly 3 million active e-book application users on smartphones. While these numbers may make many book publishers think, "We need to start offering this," a number of publishers already are active in the mobile e-book application space, including Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH).