HarperCollins Publishers has announced plans to launch a viral mobile initiative using 2-D barcodes, a new technology that links the print world to mobile. The codes, located on the back of book jackets and on marketing materials, will connect to a mobile site, with exclusive content about the authors and book.
"Open Book," a new national television and multimedia program, will premiere May 13 on LinkTV. The half-hour weekly television program about books and writers—which will be hosted by book publicist and editor Ina Howard-Parker, who also created the show—will focus on contemporary and historical literary production in a different location each week.
"Wherever women are, we are,” says Malle Vallik, director, digital content and interactivity for Harlequin Enterprises. You’ll hear this mantra uttered by other Harlequin executives, but it is much more than corporate speak. It is part of a “deliberate strategy,” says Vallik, and the driving force behind Harlequin’s evolution over the past 60 years.
Two decades ago, as an entry-level editorial assistant, I was asked to sign form rejection letters with the name “Edith D. Wilson.” Edith was a fictional creation whose name my then-employer used exclusively to reject manuscripts. When “rejected” writers sent angry mail, phoned or worse—visited the publisher’s office—the use of Edith’s name at the reception desk would alert all to draw the shades or reach for the security buzzer. The message was clear: Editors, and the publishers they work for, need to be as hard to get to as possible. Publishing authority and position demanded “reclusivity.” Don’t call us, we’ll call you.
The Internet has changed the way that publishing companies market books, providing a myriad of new opportunities. But marketers shouldn’t forget lower-tech methods of getting the word out. Here, some experts explain how they promote their books using both the latest and the more traditional methods.
76,000 The number of copies of “Sarah: How a Hockey Mom Turned Alaska’s Political Establishment Upside Down,” by Kaylene Johnson—the only biography of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin—regional publisher Epicenter Press printed in a few days, due to an overwhelming, nationwide demand in the week following the announcement of her Republican vice-presidential nomination. That same week, Zondervan announced that it would release a biography of Palin in October entitled “Sarah Palin: A New Kind of Leader.” Source: Book Business Extra, Sept. 12, 2008 10,000 Number of copies Barnes & Noble (B&N) originally ordered of Robert Kuttner’s “Obama’s Challenge: America’s Economic Crisis and the Power of
Nyack, N.Y.-based Flat World Knowledge, which launched this month, publishes free and open college textbooks online, with the option to purchase alternate formats of its content, including print and audio, and other study aids. While offering university-level course material gratis on the Web is not a newfangled idea in the higher-education realm, there are big differences from previous efforts—there’s no advertising within the text pages, nor is there a trial period with hidden fees. There isn’t even any registration required for users. Flat World Knowledge is a publishing company, not an aggregator of other publishers’ titles, says Eric Frank, co-founder and chief marketing officer.
The Web is an ever-changing animal. Keeping that in mind, the most successful online marketing executives must think in the future tense: coming up with inventive, original ideas to help publishers stay ahead of the game. Jeff Yamaguchi, associate director of online marketing for Random House Inc. division The Doubleday Publishing Group, is one such innovator, and he fills us in on a little secret—that the future tense is not enough. In June, Yamaguchi launched Doubleday’s newly revamped Web site, which uses a WordPress platform to simulate the look and usability of a blog while maintaining Doubleday’s integrity and standards as a
I recently attended the Book Industry Study Group’s Making Information Pay event (more coverage on pages 7 and 32), where Michael Cader, founder of Publishers Marketplace and Publishers Lunch, offered publishers simple, yet pertinent advice on engaging their audiences: “Leverage the damn book.” One example he gave: His son read a book from the “Alex Rider” series, so Cader went to the store to buy the series’ next book. To illustrate the point he was going to make, he projected a slide featuring the cover of every book in the series. There was nothing that told consumers which book to read next. The