Growing up as a bookworm, I have gone completely crazy about the spin-off products of Penguin Books — and I’m pretty sure that I am not the only one. Penguin Books was one of the first foreign publishers who introduced western classical literature into China, and as a teenager I was privileged to indulge myself with English language and literature, thanks to this little Penguin.
Postcards featuring iconic Penguin book jackets, Book Bag with an image of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road (which I could no longer resist and finally purchased one from HKU Bookstore at 166HKD, on 21st January 2015), Water Bottle based on the cover of The Lost Girl, Notebook coming with Jane Austin’s Pride and Prejudice…… I see the production of book spin-off as an innovative marketing strategy to increase sales and allow the publishing house to transition from relying on the sales of books (including hard copies and e-books) to attracting the readers with more creative products. Rather than limiting ourselves to the traditional ways of running a publishing business, we might find it the right time to re-examine the old saying of “judging a book by its cover”!
Image Credit: Penguin Books, UK
In the article Why You Need to Become an Independent Publisher, Geoff Livingston advocates writers to consider self-publishing; he also shares the valuable things that he has learned in the process. Livingston states that the trend of independent publishing is mainly due to “retaining artistic direction, a higher percentage of profits, and the increasing lack of editorial and marketing support offered by traditional publishing houses”. He offers suggestions on producing an outstanding manuscript and marketing the book after it has been published.
Meanwhile, Joe Belanger discusses the potential disadvantages of self-publishing in his article Self-publishing risks and rewards explored. He points out that independent publishing not only means that authors must be involved in the “creative aspect” of production, but they must also make “a series of business decisions”, which possibly takes up the time that could be spent writing and even leads to unwise decision making without seeking professional guide, which could make authors suffer financially. Self-publishing seems to become more and more popular these days and has certainly presents a challenge to the traditional publishing industry, but as an author, you do need to think twice before taking this path.
Image credit: Copyblogger Media