Branding + Word of Mouth = Profits

February 2002
by Robin Bartlett

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Even if you’re a small independent publisher or brand new start-up, you can–and you should–establish a unique identity (a.k.a., a brand) for your company, just as larger companies do. And then, no matter what your company’s size, you should start using “word-of-mouth marketing” to promote it and your books.

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing two long-time friends whose personal story shows how well those tactics can work. Alan Freedman and Irma Morrison started their entrepreneurial, self-publishing venture in 1981 by establishing The Computer Language Company (CLC) and publishing The Computer Glossary. Their goal was the same then as it is today: “to demystify the jargon of computer science and technology and make it accessible to all.”

Now, 20 years and nine editions later, the Computer Language Company has sold more than 250,000 print copies of The Computer Glossary and its current title, the Computer Desktop Encyclopedia, altogether, and more than 500,000 CD-ROM copies via the Internet. Alan and Irma have hired one full-time staffer who calls companies, organizations, and associations and sells licenses for the online version of the encyclopedia. CLC’s product is recognized internationally as the definitive source for computer and technical definitions, explanations, and illustrations. The Glossary has been published by three commercial publishers (Prentice-Hall, AMACOM and, mos…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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