Branding by Video

It turns out Simon & Schuster, who has been gaining press attention with the release of its “Behind the Book” video series, isn’t the only publishing company that’s been building its video cache. We’ve decided to gather a few together for viewing.

Here’s a little background in case you missed it: S&S uploaded 5 videos of book editors giving details on how certain titles came to be as a start to their series last week. S&S Executive VP and Chief Digital Officer Ellie Hirschhorn was quoted in the press release as saying that the series is “offering new and revealing information that can enhance and inform the reading experience” since “apart from the author, nobody knows a book as well as its editor.”

Digital Book World’s Jeremy Greenfield noted about the videos, “In the book publishing world, authors have traditionally been the brand: Everyone wants to buy the new James Patterson title, not necessarily the latest release from his publisher, Hachette.” So from here, we take that building a brand would ultimately lead to readers trusting a company for its judgment in acquiring great books, instead of relying on established authors or comparative titles to sell the book. But it doesn’t make sense for the average reader to buy something with this in mind, since publishers have such a wide variety of styles and genres.

Along with building a brand for the publisher as a whole instead of a specific author, he added that “this series of videos is another small way that publishers are saying to authors — and readers — that they add value.”

We talked to Nellie Kurtzman, co-founder and CEO of the video content agency Kid & the Wolf, which primarily creates book trailers, to get a little insight into a publishing marketer’s approach to videos. Before founding Kid & the Wolf, Kurtzman was the VP, Marketing of Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.

Kurtzman said of the Simon & Schuster videos, “It tells the behind the scenes, what people don’t know,” confirming that the videos prove the publishers’ worth to the public by bringing awareness to what publishers actually do for books.

Here are a few videos we found from publishing houses for comparison on how they’re going about (possibly) building their brand. First here’s one of the S&S ‘Behind the Book’ videos:


Read More »

Top 5 Publishing Articles/Blog Posts of the Week 8/4-8/8

number_5_redEvery week, we recommend 5 publishing articles/blog posts that supplement the major news for the week. Whether data or industry commentary, we hope these 5 links will be a simple way to keep you in the know.

Book Industry Study Group released new findings showing that students are spending less time with textbooks and more time with online study materials.

A report from the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions indicates that libraries need to iron out the best practices to get ebooks to patrons.

Are religious book publishers the only publishers that have consumers loyal to their brand?

Despite a slight decrease in traditionally published print titles, Bowker finds that US sales are holding steady.

The New York Times delved into popular ebook subscription services to see how they compare to each other.

Columbia Publishing Course 2014 Super-Grad

The super-grad is back! The Columbia Publishing Course (formerly the Radcliffe Publishing Course) graduates are back in action with backgrounds and hobbies just as impressive as past years’. Publishing Trends has once again created an amalgam of the most exotic and surprising parts of the students’ biographies, so the industry can see the type of superhuman Publishing Course graduates with whom it will be dealing. With the exception of a few connective phrases, all words used are the students’ own.


This year’s Typical Columbia Publishing Course Grad (we’ll call her Hester) is a Hometown, USA gal —where she is unabashedly proud to have two of her own ice cream flavors commercially produced. A former fashion model and avid reader since childhood, she once boasted in a letter from summer camp “I am the best speller in my cabin.” Hester spent her childhood enthusiastically caring for her dog and several “pet” crossbred cattle. Her writing career started early when, at the age of eleven, she became her hometown newspaper’s first film critic, a position she held for eight years.

During college, she started up a branch of a new SAT tutoring company, moonlighted as a semiprofessional poker player, and worked twenty-five hours a week in the college’s mailroom, where she learned more about people through unsealed packages than she could have in years of conversation. A one-time competitive yo-yoer, her love of adventure led her to serve as a wilderness guide in northern Ontario, spend a semester off the grid in the backcountry of New Zealand, manage a national project to reduce teen pregnancy in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; and manage a division of over 20 grant-funded programs for a mental health department in the largest non-profit home health care agency in the US. She spent the past two years in Orange County, California, working in architecture for the Walt Disney Company and helping tell classic tales through brick, mortar, and plenty of themed paint. She is also co-founder of the Jewelry Project, an organization that promotes women’s financial independence through jewelry making in the Ecuadorian Amazon.

Her interest in publishing developed during her time as senior editor on The Brown Daily Herald, where she also enjoyed recruiting writers with promises of homemade pie. She has been a library gremlin in conservation and digitization, and her love of publishing encouraged her to begin a global collection of Harry Potter international editions. She currently possesses titles in their British, Icelandic, Italian, and Japanese editions.

In her free time, Hester enjoys breakdancing and writing poetry. Since being awarded the Stanley Colbert Chapbook Award in the spring of 2013, she manages her personal website where she publishes and promotes the sale of the comics she has written, drawn, and stapled together, and keeps her leadership skills fresh as a certified Spin® instructor. She also wrote and illustrated a children’s book about a fox and a mouse who both love chocolate.


To find out more about seeing participants’ resumes (or to read the real biographies) please contact Columbia Publishing Course Assistant Director, Stephanie Chan at (212) 854-9775 or swc37 at Columbia dot edu.

New York’s other major summer publishing course, New York University’s Summer Publishing Institute, celebrated its 36th year this summer. To learn more about NYU’s eligible grads or about the program, contact Executive Director Andrea Chambers at (212) 992-3226 or andrea.chambers at nyu dot edu.

Top 5 Publishing Articles/Blog Posts of the Week 7/28-8/1

number_5_redEvery week, we recommend 5 publishing articles/blog posts that supplement the major news for the week. Whether data or industry commentary, we hope these 5 links will be a simple way to keep you in the know.

Is it time for publishers to take a stance on ebook subscription services?

Should The Man Booker Prize be able to bend their own rules?

With the acquisition of BookLamp, is Apple positioning itself to enter the ebook subscription service market?

Why are there no digital publishing start ups in the UK?

With the increasing rate of authors choosing to self-publish,is there really a chance for to earn “big money”?

People Round-Up Late July, 2014


Workman Publishing Company announced that Dan Reynolds has been appointed Chief Executive Officer. He will relocate to New York full-time on October 1, 2014.  Carolan Workman continues in the role of Executive Chair of the Board and President, and Katie Workman is named VP of Strategic Marketing and Business Development. As CEO and president of the imprints Storey Publishing and Timber Press, Reynolds has been part of Workman Publishing since 2001.

Colleen Venable will join Workman Publishing on August 1 as Associate Art Director, Children’s Department. Previously she was senior designer at First Second BooksScholastic announced the appointment of Netta Rabin as VP of Product Development for Klutz. She was Art Director and Editor at Workman.

Brenda Marsh has joined Abrams as VP, Business Development.  She will continue to serve as Interim Associate Publisher until a Publisher is hired. She was previously at B&N and earlier, at HarperCollins.

Jeff Salane will be joining S&S Children’s Publishing as Executive Editor, effective August 25. Salane was previously at Scholastic. Hannah Buchsbaum has been promoted to Editor.

Lisa Yoskowitz has joined Little, Brown Books for Young Readers as Executive Editor. Previously she was Senior Editor at Disney-Hyperion.

Lisa Johnson has left Penguin where she’d worked for 23 years, most recently as VP, Associate Publisher Gotham/Avery.

When Ingram‘s acquisition of Perseus‘s distribution companies is completed, Legato Publishers Group will be merged into PGW, with founder Mark Suchomel leaving the company. The former President of IPG, Suchomel founded Legato in May 2013, and it operated as an affiliate of PGW.

Lance Fitzgerald will be joining The Crown Publishing Group on August 4 as VP, Director of Subsidiary Rights.  Succeeding Fitzgerald at S&S is Marie Florio, who has been promoted to Director, Subsidiary Rights, overseeing rights for all books within the Simon & Schuster imprint as well as select Threshold titles.  Linda Kaplan has left the Crown Publishing Group, where she was recently VP, Director of Subsidiary Rights. She may be reached at [email protected].

Peter Brantley has moved to NYPL Director, Digital Library Applications at The New York Public Library.  He was Director of the Bookserver Project at the Internet Archive.

Noah Ballard has joined Curtis Brown as a literary agent. He had previously been with Emma Sweeney Agency. He will continue to represent literary fiction, thrillers and narrative non-fiction.

Latoya Smith, formerly an editor at Grand Central Publishing, has been named Executive Editor of Romance at Samhain where she will be overseeing the publication of the erotic romance line.  She worked previously at Kensington.

Jay Sacher has been named Senior Editor at Potter Style. Previously he was an Editor at Princeton Architectural Press.

Diane Gedymin has left Turner Publishing, where she was Executive Editor and Subsidiary Rights Director, to complete a contracted book and focus her efforts on her publishing consultant firm, The Publisher’s Desk. She can be reached at [email protected].

Katie Salisbury has left Amazon Publishing, where she was Editor, to pursue other opportunities. She may be reached at [email protected].

Jason Diamond announced via twitter that he’s leaving Flavorwire, where he was Literary Editor, and going to Men’s Journal.

Katie McHugh has left her post as Editor, Brand Development at Time Home Entertainment to become a freelance nonfiction editor. She can be reached at [email protected].

Christina Rodriguez has left Hudson Street Press, where she was Associate Editor, to pursue an opportunity outside of the publishing industry. She can be reached at [email protected].

Scholastic has hired Lee Peters as SVP, Strategic Marketing for Scholastic Education, reporting to division president Margery Mayer.  Most recently, he was VP of Strategic Marketing, North America for Pearson Education.

Penny Makras has joined HarperCollins as Senior Marketing Manager. Previously she was a Marketing Manager at Wiley. Read More »

International Bestsellers, July 2014

Every month, Publishing Trends runs fiction international bestsellers lists from four territories–France, Germany, Italy, and Spain. This month, our four regular territories are joined by two more: Malta and South Korea.  Those books that have been published in English are listed with their official English-language title. All others are translated as literally as possible from the original. Where applicable, the US publisher is listed after the local publisher, separated by a “/”. The lists are taken from major newspapers or national retailers, which are noted at the bottom of each list. 






Survey results: Where Do Publishing Professionals Get Their Books?

Codex’s recent reader poll shows that the Amazon-Hachette contract negotiations may be having an impact on the way the average consumer purchases books. According to Codex, 39% of their respondents are aware of the ongoing negotiations between Amazon and Hachette, and there has been a decline in consumers buying books from Amazon at a rate of 7.5%.

Since publishing professionals are not quite the average book consumer, Publishing Trends conducted a quick, informal survey on where publishing professionals get their books and whether or not that has changed over time. The Amazon-Hachette negotiations were not mentioned anywhere in the survey because we did not want to lead answers toward a particular direction. Most (20%) of the survey respondents who identified their job titles were from editorial backgrounds. The next most popular category of respondents were from literary agencies at 10.8%, and the rest ranged from production, consultants, rights, marketing, and contracts.

Of those who responded, 67.9% stated that they pay for the books that they read in their free time, and the others who get them for free receive them from a variety of sources (respondents could pick multiple choices):

free books Read More »

Top 5 Publishing Articles/Blog Posts of the Week 7/21-7/25

number_5_redEvery week, we recommend 5 publishing articles/blog posts that supplement the major news for the week. Whether data or industry commentary, we hope these 5 links will be a simple way to keep you in the know.

The 2013 Digital Inclusion Survey results were released, showing growth in the digital offerings of American libraries.

Why do Americans have a complicated relationship with poetry books?

The data crunching trend has made its way to publishing through the start up Next Big Book.

Why are some publishers are slow to understand the allure of ebooks?

How do so many authors get the publishing industry wrong in their books?

Top 5 Publishing Articles/Blog Posts of the Week 7/14-7/18

number_5_redEvery week, we recommend 5 publishing articles/blog posts that supplement the major news for the week. Whether data or industry commentary, we hope these 5 links will be a simple way to keep you in the know.

Sales data shows that 2013 was a a year of growth for comic books and graphic novels.

How did the Amazon/Hachette contract negotiations adopt the language of class warfare?

What’s happening in the publishing world that we can celebrate?

Was Amazon always a force to be reckoned with?

How can magazine publishers find success with older content?

Survey: Where Do You Get Your Books From?

Here at Market Partners International, we often find ourselves inundated by books to read– from galleys and library rentals to books we’ve bought online or in stores. Looking at our reading queues and seeing the myriad places we get our books from, we started wondering: how do other people in the publishing industry get their books to read for pleasure? As retail options have changed over the past few years, have industry professionals’ buying habits changed, as well?

If you work in the publishing industry, we invite you to take this short survey linked here. It’s completely anonymous, and we’ll post the results here and on our sister site, Publishing Trendsetter. Looking forward to hearing from you!