Mining Other Sources of Income

September 2006
by Linda Carlson

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Why do publishers make
licensing deals and sell advertising, T-shirts, teddy bears, tattoos, and a
variety of other nonbook items?


Better margins. Better terms.
Better cash flow—and more marketing buzz for their books. Two earlier articles
this year discussed generating revenue with audiobooks, software, trainings,
and speeches (see “Companion Products: Creating CDs, DVDs, and Software,” June;
and “Nonbook Products That Boost Revenue,” August). Here are even more ways to
improve cash flow.



Although many PMA members add
income and round out their product lines by distributing related titles from
other publishers, only a few report using advertising as a money-maker. One
publisher that does is the California-based Gurze, which specializes in books
about eating disorders. Gurze runs ads for treatment facilities in the print
edition of its consumer catalog. “These ad sales account for about 30 percent
of our gross revenue, and the profit margin is much higher,” publisher Leigh
Cohn points out.


Banner ads on Web sites are a
related source of income for Gurze and such publishers as Israel’s Limelight
Media and Pennsylvania’s Bookhaven. Like many other firms, Bookhaven also
generates income from ads.


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