Focusing on Faith
May 1, 2007

The large New York publishing firms might have been forgiven, in early 2000, for taking little or no notice of a slim volume of Bible commentary put out by Multnomah Publishers, a small religious publishing house based in Colorado Springs. The book, which analyzed an obscure Old Testament passage as a sort of self-help guide to releasing “God’s favor, power and protection” through prayer, was bought up by large evangelical churches and began to be talked about online and in so-called “small group ministry” sessions around the country. One year and 4 million copies later, everyone in the publishing world had heard of

The View From the Top
May 1, 2007

HarperCollins Publishers Worldwide, one of the five largest book publishers in the world and a subsidiary of News Corp., is strategically focused on a digital evolution that will shape the company’s goals and mission in the future. The foundation of this evolution can be traced back 10 years to when Jane Friedman was hired as the company’s president and CEO. According to Friedman, in the past 10 years HarperCollins has increased profits by more than 1,000 percent and its total revenue went from $600 million to $1.3 billion in 2006. The company publishes an average of 4,300 titles globally per year, with 3,100 employees

Celebrating the Book Publishing Tradition
May 1, 2007

While working on this issue, I was struck by two things. The first was the comment by Eric Miller, president of the National Association of Independent Reps (NAIPR), in Gene Schwartz’s column “Deconstructing Distribution” (page 34), about why many people in the book publishing industry persist despite facing many significant challenges. “To have a bookstore is part of the American dream,” he said. Shortly after reading his comment, I stumbled upon another very powerful quote along similar lines on the Web site for Independent Publisher magazine (formerly called Small Press). In the magazine’s first issue in 1983, Allan Kornblum, founder and publisher of Coffee

Pick a Title, Any Title
May 1, 2007

You only have so many titles to market to the public. How do you choose the right ones and how do you further their cause? It’s never an easy decision. One title you might acquire reads beautifully, but where’s the platform for marketing it? The author doesn’t exactly seem television-interview friendly. Another title has a famous person behind it, but it’s missing a little thing called substance. These are the dilemmas publishers face every day, and although choosing a title is certainly not easy, several publishers with a number of best sellers under their belts say that there are certain steps you can

A New Home For Independent Publishers
April 1, 2007

Many independent U.S. book publishers breathed a sigh of relief after a Delaware bankruptcy court ruled in favor of the Perseus Books Group taking control of the distribution contracts for more than 120 clients of the now-defunct Publishers Group West (PGW). The New York-based Perseus Books offered to pay 70 cents for every dollar of pre-bankruptcy claims owed to publishers who were distributed under PGW, a Berkeley, Calif.-based division of Advanced Marketing Services (AMS). The bid to help bail out AMS from a pile of debt claims was approved by Judge Christopher Sontchi Feb. 19. Perseus President David Steinberger says the company began

Tapping the Supply Chain Opportunity
April 1, 2007

In Part I of this series, I described how supply chain thinking can be applied to business and career decisions. Correctly identifying your “value proposition” is the key to being able to diagram where in the chain of buying and selling relationships you can be most effective. Building on your core competencies, and recognizing that you need to manage your supply chain relationships becomes the business proposition. Chances are that when you first examine your supply chain, you will find that you have been a slave to it, rather than a master of it. I also noted that by rethinking and realistically recasting your

Publishing Rights of O.J. Simpson Book to be Auctioned
March 30, 2007

In a rare twist in the controversial O.J. Simpson “If I Did It” book saga, the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department was assigned earlier this week to conduct a book auction for publishing rights, according to Reuters.com. The Sheriff’s Department is overseeing the auction–scheduled for April 17, because the original publisher, News Corp.-owned HarperCollins, has offices in the California capital according to Reuters.com. According to Reuters, proceeds from the court-ordered auction will help satisfy a $33.5 million civil judgment rendered against Simpson in 1997 for the deaths of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ronald Goldman. The news of the auction comes

Random House, HarperCollins Execs Talk About Online Book Browsing, Web Widgets
March 2, 2007

In an effort to reach more potential readers on the Web, two of the world’s largest trade publishers have released their own unique viral marketing tools intended to help disperse searchable samples of their book titles across the Internet. Several years after cyberspace mainstays Amazon.com and Google began offering searches for visitors to take a look inside the cover of books, Random House and HarperCollins became the first trade publishers to introduce their own transportable search functions for both retailers and consumers. Unlike those previous available search tools, the two new applications, called widgets, allow users to copy and paste content onto Web sites, blogs

A Book With A View
March 1, 2007

A bar of soap that zaps fat, puppies that don’t grow up, and a bug DNA kit. It’s not everyday in a book-marketing veteran’s career that he’s able to be as creative as Jeffrey Yamaguchi has been able to be during the recent marketing campaign for Michael Crichton’s latest best seller, “Next.” While promoting “Next,” Yamaguchi—HarperCollins’ online marketing manager—and his marketing teammates created a fictional genetic research firm by the name of Nextgencode. They then developed fake products supposedly being sold by the company, including a revolutionary weight-loss soap, and supported these ventures with online video commercials that ran on mainstream sites, like

Tips for E-Commerce Solution Shopping
February 1, 2007

In the ever-changing world of multimedia and shoppers who expect things at the click of the mouse, e-commerce solutions are in high demand. “These days it’s so important to give your Web customers a great experience,” says Jim Morse, president of Morse Data Corp. To do so, it is important to select solutions that fit your company size, scope, staff and budget. The following advice from several e-commerce solution providers can help guide you through the process of deciding which product works best for your company. “A publisher should analyze the cost of not only the development of a solution, but the manpower