Steve Jobs' 14 Lessons for Book Publishers (Part One)
May 25, 2012

Much of the discussion about Steve Jobs’s biography centers on his management style, or lack thereof. But after reading the book, I found information that is relevant to the publishing industry. I will offer my interpretations of Steve Jobs’s philosophies and actions as they could apply to book publishing in two parts.

33 Tips For Profitable Publishing
May 18, 2012

The most expensive part of publishing is a mistake. If you can avoid the most common traps into which unsuccessful publishers fall, you increase your chance of success significantly. You may be on the right path to publishing success… but heading in the wrong direction. Let these tips be your GPS to becoming more profitable.

  1. There is no “one way” to market a book. There is no formula for book-publishing success. Learn what works best for you and your circumstances, create your plan and then give it your best effort.
  2. Understand marketing. Marketing is a process that begins with recognizing the needs of your potential customers, and then moves to developing, pricing distributing and promoting products and services to build profits by creating and expanding demand.
  3. Know your target reader. No book is saleable to “everybody who likes [your topic].” Use a PAR (Problem-Action-Result) statement to define the typical reader as carefully as possible in terms of gender, income, age, education and shopping preferences. This will help you focus your marketing activities.

Conference Recap: Taming the Giant—BISG Takes On Big Data
May 11, 2012

At the BISG ninth annual Making Information Pay Conference, held at the McGraw Hill auditorium on May 3, seven expert presenters took the assembled 200 industry professionals through a fast-paced three-and-a-half-hour session slicing Big Data down to manageable bites.

Not for the faint of heart, the event was focused on the message that Angela Bole, BISG Deputy Executive Director opened with. Citing a McKinsey Institute study’s warning of a critical shortage of expert analytical information workers she said that “It’s our belief that, as an industry, we need to harness the awesomeness of ‘deep analytical expertise’ in order to create the kind of book industry that’s truly capable of the innovation necessary to stay relevant over the coming years.”

Big Data, she said, “refers to the act of ‘taming’ the volume, variety and velocity of massive datasets.” It is what takes us to a place where we’re now able to develop holistic approaches to full-scale strategies that are analytical in the deepest sense of the term.”

50 Tips for Promoting Your Book: Tips 26 – 50
May 11, 2012

When you first publish, nobody has heard of the author or the book, so your initial promotion is the key to success. But if you focus only on social media you will miss many opportunities to reach prospective buyers. An assorted, persuasive and targeted promotional mix should maximize your sales, revenue and profits.

Promotion can use up your money faster than any other marketing tool. Use it wisely and your investment will pay off maximum dividends. These tips will show you how to do that:

  • 26. Sell your book as a premium.  A premium is an item the recipient is given for doing something or buying something, i.e., a free gift—your book— in conjunction for your action.
  • 27. Sell your book as an incentive. An incentive is something that you earn. It requires that you do something extra in order to deserve or be given that item. It is usually something of considerable value to the potential recipient – such as a coffeetable book.

50 Tips for Promoting Your Book: Tips 1-25
May 4, 2012

When you first publish, nobody has heard of the author or the book, so your initial promotion is the key to success. But if you focus only on social media you will miss many opportunities to reach prospective buyers. An assorted, persuasive and targeted promotional mix should maximize your sales, revenue and profits.

Marketing in the White Space: A different approach to market segmentation
April 27, 2012

Maket segmentation is the process of dividing your overall sales opportunity into unique, defined, manageable groups of people. You know this as a fundamental marketing technique, but if you look at it in a new way it is even more likely to increase your sales, revenue and profits.

Locating opportunities that are not immediately visible is what I call “marketing in the white space”—the undefined area surrounding the segments, the places where you can create new sales in uncontested market space where your competition is irrelevant. Here, demand is created rather than fought over, and growth may be profitable and rapid.

Maximize Your Trade Show Experience
April 18, 2012

I have exhibited or attended each of the last 22 BookExpo America shows, and I served my time as a trade-show manager for Fortune 500 companies. I understand what makes a profitable experience at such an event. My BEA experiences have shown me that book publishers could do a great deal more to improve the results they get from their exhibiting expenditures.

The exhibitors’ focus is on the authors because they are trying to sell their books. And that is where they go wrong. They could sell more books by translating how the content of the books can benefit the customers. Let’s take the focus off of glitz and put it where it belongs: consummating large-quantity sales and making the contacts that can lead to future sales.

Pub Expo: Book Printers and Publishers Are Alive and Well—Full Speed Into the Digital Age!
March 23, 2012

An energized Publishing Business Conference and Expo, Book Business and Publishing Executive magazines’ annual event at the Times Square Marriott Marquis, March 19-21, was grounded in optimism and realism, and primed for a promising future in the digital age for book manufacturing and print-based book production.

Addressing the overflow audience at the Marriott's Astor Ballroom, our very own Joan of Arc at the ramparts, Editorial Director Noelle Skodzinski—fully armed with the arguments of comon sense and history to support her—sounded a much-needed balancing and defiant keynote to prevailing “stiff upper lip” scenarios about the decline of the publishing industry. She reminded us, paraphrasing from both Monty Python and the Holy Grail and the Encyclopedia Britannica blog’s notice that it had discontinued its venerable print edition, that publishing is not dead, change is okay, and that the future is alive with new opportunities in our pursuit of continued success and excellence in the publishing business.

How to Build a Successful Marketing Platform
March 2, 2012

Actors use a physical platform to raise themselves above their audiences, focusing the attention on themselves so that they can more easily be seen and heard. The concept of building a marketing platform is not dissimilar. Publishers generally assume that if their authors’ platforms are significant enough, potential buyers will either buy their book upon its publication or spread the word about it to others. But this is often not the case. Simply because people have heard of you or have befriended you on Facebook does not necessarily mean they will buy your book or support its introduction.

The Customer Value Proposition: A New Twist on an Old Marketing Technique
February 22, 2012

There is a fairly common marketing concept that can help you write a better press release, perform more successfully on the air, and sell more books in large, non-returnable quantities to corporate buyers. It is called a Customer Value Proposition (CVP) and it is a concise way to clearly and quickly portray to prospective buyers how your content can benefit them.