Bookbuilders of Boston is a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing together people involved in book publishing and manufacturing throughout New England. Our blog describes industry events that we sponsor or attend.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Sales, Publicity, and Marketing Rounds Out Workshop Series

Friesens was the sponsor for the last workshop in Bookbuilders' fall session, and about thirty people attended. Speakers were Gina Choe from Charlesbridge, Beth Ineson from Houghton Mifflin-Harcourt, and Roxanne McCarley from Pearson Educational.

The speakers provided a well-rounded view of the sales landscape across different segments of the industry. While trade publishers judge the impact of Borders store closings, higher ed companies increasingly rely on reps' relationships with professors and bookstore managers.

Gina Choe represented the special sales area, where printed catalogs and bound books are still necessary to make the sale. On the flip side, Roxanne McCarley discussed enhanced features of e-textbooks, including videos, apps, assessment, and course management systems. Many such add-ons are more suited to the iPad (tablets) as opposed to e-readers. Competition among the reader devices is closely watched by Beth Ineson, director of field sales and distribution clients at HMH.

One of the more timely questions from the audience had to do with direct-to-consumer sales. Direct engagement with customers (readers) is a buzzworthy topic at industry events: while some publishers consider it a growth area, the need to tread lightly and nurture reseller relationships is still strong.