Welcome to my blog!

I'm a divorced mom with a teenage daughter and two pre-teen sons. Writing is my first love. When I'm not writing or working or playing taxi to the kids, I also toy with photography and baking.

So, basically, my camera rarely sees the light of day and my mixer stands in the corner in permanent time-out.

To see some samples of my writing, you can check out my website: www.csrickard.com

Friday, May 8, 2009

Publisher's Lunch Article

Here is an article from Publisher's Lunch, which I receive daily. I thought it was interesting to see some specifics on ways publishers are re-shaping their business model:

...As Publishers Reimagine the Next Steps
That idea of investing, and reshaping, for the future were also prominent themes in both Raccah and Leaver's presentations at yesterday's conference.

Raccah's larger theme was her journey to remake "not business as usual," citing a remark from Carolyn Reidy on the challenge of running two companies at once, "the one that was, and the one that will be."

At Sourcebooks, citing "fundamental changes at retail" and a "real return to the value of niche publishing," the company's focus is on very specific slices of categories ("not cookbooks, but vegan cookbooks; not parenting, but ADHD" books for parents), with "category leadership mandatory for success."

Raccah said "we have pulled out completely of certain categories" so that they can "compete harder in fewer categories." And they aren't just looking at the books, but "are starting to organize internally around category users--the readers who are interested in certain topics."
The category focus drives long-term planning: "What's the program that will make this author successful in this category? Our shorthand: we publish authors, not books."

Leaver expressed a similar sentiment in his own way: "We believe that horizontal is roadkill; vertical is the way forward. We're a cateogry publisher and we'll become more of a category publisher. It's about cutting up [categories] into little sections."

Raccah is also hugely energized by emerging digital landscape. "In the big picture, we're creating new approaches to content," she said. They are creating 23 iPhone apps, three of which have already been released and should be in the black before the end of the year. She spoke about "unbundling our services" and becoming "'custom' everything" noting that "the customer will tell you how they want to buy something." She underscored that there is a "tremendous opportunity for partnerships everywhere--the world just got a whole lot bigger."

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