10 Companies with Multiple Channels to Control Their Branding

I’ve been hearing a lot about branding lately. Strong branding can make people loyal to you (like Apple), and the more control you have over your branding, the easier it is to make sure your audience sees the message you are trying to send.

Take Disney, for example. Disney owns a multitude of assets, ranging from production studios (Disney, Pixar, Lucasfilm, Marvel, etc.) to retail, games, and apps, to theme parks and hotels, to music, to distribution, to books, to TV networks, and more. Because Disney owns so much, the company can make sure that their branding reaches every aspect of their business. The same message moves through each step in their pipeline, and if they ever need to change or update that message, they can easily do so.

This got me thinking, what other companies own additional assets to help with their branding? Here’s a few I’ve found, in no particular order. Continue reading

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Writers: Going the Traditional Publishing Route

Courtesy of Pixabay

Courtesy of Pixabay

Not all writers wants to go the indie route, which is understandable. Publishers have teams to help with editing, publicity and marketing, and distribution. And it’s cool to be able to say, “XYZ published me.”

It’s a tough route to go though. I have a few friends who have written manuscripts and are currently sending them out to agents. But it often takes months for agents to get back to them, and when they do, they’re sometimes vague about what they’re looking for. You definitely have to have thick skin, and be patient.

According to Huffington Post, you should limit your query letters to 20 at a time and follow up after 2 months:

If they don’t get back to you, they don’t want to represent your project. Move on. Remember that agents only get paid when they sell your book. They have a trained eye toward what publishing houses want, and they represent projects that they think they can sell for significant money. Consider that a $5,000 advance garners an agent a measly $750 (15% commission). No matter how much they might love your book, they’re financially motivated and they sell books for a living.

You could also try to directly sell your book to publishers, though this works best for niche books and if you submit to small- and medium-sized publishers.

Forbes has a list of tips for how to get a book deal. Most of the advice is geared toward non-fiction writers, but a lot of it could apply to fiction writers as well. They include the usual, be persistent, be active on social media, and write a lot tips. But they also encourage writers to book speaking gigs and become experts on their topics, as well as contributing to other books and attending conferences and other events where you can meet people who could potentially publish your book.

As a writer though, the best thing you can do for yourself is to write. John Scalzi, author of Agent to the Stars, wrote about the 10-year anniversary for the print version of his book, which started off as started off as a practice novel he wrote back in 1997 and then posted to his website in 1999. Scalzi then posted his second novel on his site, which Tor picked up (though they didn’t pick up Agent, because they didn’t think it was marketable at the time.)

Another publisher, Subterranean Press, ended up buying the rights to a limited hardcover release of Agent, which eventually allowed him to sell it to foreign markets and to Tor for paperback and audio.

John Scalzi then sums up his experience:

Occasionally at signings, people will come up with a copy of Agent and confide that it’s their favorite novel of mine, as if that’s something weird, because OMW or Redshirts are the usual suspects for that title. But I like it when they tell me they like Agent. It’s my firstborn (if second-published), and it was written not because I wanted to sell, but because I wanted to learn. Writing it was a joy, if for no other reason than the dawning awareness I had writing it that, yes, in fact, I could do this thing, and I liked doing it, and that I wanted to do more of it if I could. That’s what Agent gave me that no other novel could, or will. It’s special to me. I’m glad when it’s special for other people too.

So, no matter which route you decide to go, just remember that the important thing is that you write.

Taking Stock of Industries Related to Book Publishing and How That Relates to the Future

media

Book publishers can learn a lot from their media counterparts. As the world becomes more connected, the lines between these industries is getting blurred. Keeping on top of trends then can be really helpful, in terms of getting ideas of what can be done and what to expect in the future. Here are a few headlines from other forms of media that can help inform people in book publishing:

Music

Movies, TV, Video

Comics

Games

Education

News, Blogs

Ads

Content

Design

Monetization

Startups, Niche

All this connectedness, combined with lower barriers to entry, have made it easier than ever for people to start their own startups. Not all are successful, but they are all interesting.

Apps

Books

Book Publishers

Book Publishing

Book Recommendations

Lessons

Niche

Tech

Future, Trends

After taking a look at other industries, as well as new companies in the book industry, it’s interesting to read about trends and predictions for the future.

Authors

Design

Marketing

News

Predictions

Research

Ebooks

Last, it’s fun to see all the pieces starting to come together in the form of ebooks. There’s a lot of interesting developments in the EPUB world.

Routes to Becoming a Hybrid Author: Submission Guidelines, Literary Agents, Crowdsourcing, and Publishers Who Accept Unsolicited Manuscripts

There’s a term that’s been floating around the publishing industry for a while now: hybrid authors. It refers to authors who have been both traditionally published and who have self-published, and generally, these are the most successful authors.

I not-so-secretly aspire to be a hybrid author, partly because I’m familiar with the industry and have great respect for the people in it (some of my friends are editors for publishing houses) and partly because I’m curious to experience first-hand how it might be different from self-publishing, which I’ve really enjoyed doing. So for other aspiring hybrid authors out there, here is a list of the more unconventional ways to get conventionally published. By that I mean publishers, generally smaller, who accept direct manuscript submissions. Continue reading