Nonbook Products That Boost Revenue

August 2006
by Linda Carlson

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Speeches, software,
subscriptions, anatomical models, advice, T-shirts, teddy bears—oh, and don’t
forget tattoos: just a sampling of the nonbook products and services small
publishers sell.


line extensions is the term for
merchandise when it’s a variation on the original product. Think Honey Nut
Cheerios, Cherry Coke, and Tide with Bleach. Independent publishers are
following much the same model when they market software, online services, or newsletters
that complement a book, T-shirts punning on book titles, or toy versions of
book characters. And they develop these product line extensions for some of the
same reasons as General Mills, Coca-Cola, and Procter & Gamble: margins and
marketing oomph.


The nonbook products may have
higher margins than books or be sold nonreturnable. Novelty products like
posters and ringtones help market the books and develop buzz for the publishing
company as a whole. Products that tie directly into books—anatomical models
from Scientific Publishing, for example—offer customers one-stop shopping for
merchandise that might otherwise be hard to locate.


Reports from PMA members indicate
that small publishers are remarkably creative in developing nonbook income.
This is partly because they are closer to their authors (in many cases, they
are the authors), which means they have the expertise and the passio…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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