The second part of my job that I truly love is the opportunity to build new businesses. It’s fun to come up with new ideas, whether that means a single book or a whole new series. But what really gets me jazzed is the idea of carving out a whole new market segment. Building something new where yesterday there was nothing…that’s what gets me out of bed in the morning!
Anyone who has worked with me knows that I enjoy prospecting for partnerships and alliances. As the publisher, you might be in an excellent position to help someone else leverage their name/brand. A good example of this is our company’s alliance with Ziff-Davis.
Chris Webb gets all the credit for this one. He identified an underserved market segment (the tech hobbyist) and built great products with a couple of the most trusted and innovative names in the tech magazine/online business: Ziff-Davis’s PC Magazine and ExtremeTech. The result is a list of very edgy books that show you how to do everything from hacking Windows XP to creating some cool wi-fi projects. Sure, there were a few books that covered a small number of hobbyist topics before these ones hit the shelves, but nobody else ever offered the breadth and depth of content we’ve got in this list. Plus, we’ve got a great partner in Ziff-Davis because they bring an element of tech credibility to the table and they understand and appreciate our strengths as well. We work closely with them to promote the list and make sure all their loyal readers are aware of every new title we publish.
The result? We’ve got a leadership position in the rapidly growing tech hobbyist market. I wouldn’t have been able to say that 2 years ago. Today, however, it represents a solid portion of my group’s total business.
Here’s a tip for any authors who might be reading this: Rather than proposing a single new title or even a new series, see if you can take things to the next level with an idea that could blossom into an entirely new business segment. Instead of an individual book idea, what sort of new franchise can you help build?