Co-Branding Strategies for Instant Visibility

March 2004
by Brian R. Price

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Last year, more than 175,000 books were published, many of them by small publishers. Perhaps the greatest challenge for the small publisher is standing out from the crowd and gaining the attention of mainstream buyers. One good strategy involves developing co-branding alliances that boost visibility and credibility.

When you partner with a better-known entity, sometimes the partner contributes intellectual property. Occasionally, partners provide financial subsidies for printing and marketing expenses. But in most cases what you should seek is a well-known name that will strengthen your reputation and help catch the eye of prospective buyers.

To illustrate co-branding strategy in practice, I’ve recorded a bit of the experience we’ve had with two of our own partnerships.

Our press, the Chivalry Bookshelf, focuses on the niche market narrowly defined as reenactors, fencers, martial artists, and other passionate enthusiasts interested in knighthood, chivalry, swordsmanship, and the medieval tournament. We have earned a reputation for quality within the community and have quickly become the dominant publisher in this small but rapidly growing market segment.

In 1999, we decided we would like to partner with the Swedish National Academy of Sciences. We chose a 1929 book, Armour from the Battle of Wisby, a highly sought-after but extremely hard-to-find behemoth. Once I had acquired two copies, we sought and received permission from th…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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