Chelsea Green

Notice anything different? Welcome to the newly redesigned February issue of Book Business magazine. This month features our special report on branding in book publishing, with strategies for niche publishers, general interest publishers, b-to-b publishers and beyond.

Lynn Rosen and J.S. McDougall talk to Penguin Classics, Chronicle, McSweeney's, Chelsea Green, HarperCollins Christian, O'Reilly, Harvard Common and Wharton School Publishing to get at the secret sauce of publishing house and brand, and why creating symbols that signify quality content is more imporant than ever before.

The digital revolution was a huge win for the act of publishing. Content is now everywhere and can be purchased anywhere. But how, in this sea of content, do publishers who invest in the time-honored processes that ensure quality content communicate that?

There are many methods to boost content discoverability—many are technical, many are strategic, and all should be tailored to the content and audience in question. The most powerful—and most resilient—method for improving your content's discoverability, however, is to inspire your once-passive audience to actively seek you out.

Active discovery—where customers know to specifically seek out your content—requires branding.

Today, the U.S. book industry passed a meaningful environmental threshold—approximately 50 percent of publishers now have environmental commitments in place–most with goals and timelines for vastly improving their environmental and climate performance

White River Junction, Vt.-based independent publisher Chelsea Green received strong criticism from retailers, both large and small, last August after it made a deal with to exclusively sell one of its new titles, Robert Kuttner’s “Obama’s Challenge: America’s Economic Crisis and the Power of a Transformative Presidency,” for the first few weeks of its release. In response, Barnes & Noble cut its initial order for the book, selling the title online, but not in its stores, while some independent booksellers vowed not to order from the publisher again.

Margo Baldwin, publisher and president of independent publishing company Chelsea Green, has worked for a quarter of a century not only to publish books about sustainable living, but also to run her business with the same strong environmental focus. An example of this environmentally focused mission, the company's Green Partners program offers discounts and other perks to retailers that purchase books on a no-returns basis. According to Baldwin, the response has been extremely positive, and she hopes the program will continue to grow as more book-sellers sign up in the coming year. Here, Baldwin discusses details behind the program with Book Business Extra:

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