Making Change: The Champion Press Success Story

April 2006
by Jenny McCune

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Champion Press succeeds by
championing change for itself and its readers. The tag line on its Web site
proclaims: “Champion Press . . . believing books can change the world.” And the
Belgium, WI, publisher practices what its books preach. Founder and CEO Brook
Noel has embraced innovative business practices, including outsourcing
inventory management and using a variety of ways to market on the Web, all the
while getting advice from more experienced entrepreneurs.

 

It’s hard to see the common thread
with a quick look at Champion’s 100 titles and 50 ancillary products, which
include DVDs, CDs, and workbooks. The company publishes cookbooks and fiction
as well as books on health and wellness, parenting, self-improvement, and
education. “I hired a consultant who came in and said to me, ‘I’m surprised
you’re in business,’” Noel recalls, adding, “I said, ‘Gee, I’m glad I’m paying
for this advice.’”

 

But the common thread is there.
All Champion’s products are designed to provide a “solid source of comfort” for
readers, Noel says. Common
Sense Organizing by Debbie Williams promises to help people take
control of their homes and their lives. The Frantic Family Cookbook by
Leanne Ely gives busy families recipes for healthy meals made in minutes. Even The Pearls of the Stone Man,
a novel by Edward Mooney, Jr., offers life lessons through its story of the
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