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Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Dissing the Herd Mentality: The 2009 Agenda

We at Savas Beatie have spent considerable time mapping out our objectives for 2009. Last year was a major transition for us. We moved into new offices, hired additional staff, and ramped up our marketing efforts. And having just looked at the overall numbers, I can say with authority that we are pleased with the results.

Admittedly, most news seeping out about the publishing industry is dressed in a shroud, but I refuse to follow the herd of doom, gloom, and hand-wringing.

We have carved out a good niche in general and military history by producing books people want to buy and read, and we will continue building on our success this year and beyond. The big guys seem to have only just discovered that they have too much fat around the midsection (and the ankles, and the knees, and the elbows, and especially the head), and so have begun chopping, merging, splicing, and cancelling expensive parties. (Who knows, maybe they can piggyback on one of AIG's spa extravaganzas at taxpayer expense.)

It is not a whiff of grapeshot you smell, Bonaparte, but panic.

Being large (and fat) means an inability to be flexible and nimble. We see opportunity in the chaos and are quickly developing plans to act on what we see. (More on that in another post.) We intend to increase our share of the market, and not hunker down in a bunker mode mentality.

As it stands, four of our major goals this year include . . .

(1) Enhancing Marketing and Publicity: We are going to elevate our already strong marketing program to an entirely different level with even better advance placement of interviews, excerpts, articles, the utilization of social networking on a wider and deeper scale, the implementation of more book trailers (go to onceamarine.com to watch our current book trailer), and a firmer commitment to supports authors who actively work to promote their own books--and cut bait with those who do not.

(2) Integration: Veronica Kane is overseeing the updating of our software and merging of our databases into a more streamlined, efficient, and powerful tool. We will use this to improve marketing, improve our communication with customers, manage our various projects more closely and efficiently, and track and manage costs and time.

(3) Special Sales: We opened up a number of special sales channels this year both domestically and abroad, and we intend to increase our efforts in this direction through 2009 and beyond. Our authors are the prime beneficiaries of this effort, which reduces their (and our) exposure to the vagaries of the book trade.

(4) Launching Savas Beatie BookTalk: We have been planning an Internet-based series of weekly radio programs for some time. Stay tuned for more on this in the near future. We think you are really going to enjoy it. I know we will enjoy bringing it to fruition.

But all of this would be for naught if we do not continue to find outstanding authors and manuscripts to produce into books you want to buy and read. We think 2008 was a great year for Savas Beatie titles, and we firmly believe the slate of upcoming books is our best overall offering yet.

So we intend to keep growing, keep improving, and keep putting out books worth buying and owning for a lifetime. We could not do that without you, and we thank you for your continued support and for your willingness to tell others about our books.


J David Petruzzi said...

Fabulous ideas, Ted - and I've always thought something like BookTalk (and live signings like the Abe Lincoln book shop does) would be great tools for the publisher/author as well as terrific outlets for the reader to get the information and interaction they seek.

Think about the live signing idea. I believe it would be popular.

(hoping I'm not "cut bait" :-)

Anonymous said...

Good for you, Ted.

BUT...(Yeah, there's always a 'but' in this biz.)

It's ALL about PRODUCT. What WILL people want to read? Moreover, too many books are published TOO LATE (a killer!) or UNFINISHED--One more 'push on the envelope' they really might have had something.

"Go on again with fresh courage," SB.

There's no other way to do it.

"He who demands the future, COMMANDS the future!"