“We started Magenta in 2004 to fill a void for Canadian artists in the International arts community.”
Why did you become a book publisher? We started Magenta in 2004 to fill a void for Canadian artists in the International arts community. At first we just wanted people to know how many talented artists there were in CAD and to create a high end publishing house. We had no idea how quickly it would take off and how quickly we would expand our titles internationally. It's been an amazing journey thus far and I can't imagine what the next decade will bring.
What do you like best about publishing? I think the best part of being a publisher is actually changing the life of the artist you publish. We tend to publish a handful of titles each year but we spend two years on each title, making sure it lines up with exhibitions, press, book signings, etc. We get really involved with our artists and together we create really beautiful coffee table books that are affordable. Finding the next book to publish is always the best part of our search. Even after all these years, and all the changes in our industry, which we LOVE, we are still having lots of fun.
What do you publish? Art Books- mostly photography.
What is the most effective form of marketing for your press? Direct market with either editors, photo editors, online blogs, Facebook, and Twitter seem to be our best success outlets. We learned a long time ago that we are the ones responsible for the success of our titles. Taking the time to come up with a strategic plan for each title is something we do as a team and with our artists. And of course, there re certain titles we hire a PR person to work directly with us. There are so many outlets today on getting press and we love cross platform promoting.
How do you define a successful title? I think a title is all about the packaging, promotion, and the press it receives. We all know that in order for us to move books we need audience awareness, so a large part of our focus is on getting that. And at the end of the day, when we get those emails from others who are thrilled that they read something about one of our titles and are really thrilled, that's where success lies for us.
Tell us about one of your titles about which you are especially proud. There are a few that remain our favourite: Carte Blanche, Vol 1& 2 - simply because they kicked off our publishing house and helped establish who we wanted to be Phantom Shanghai - today its simply one of our best sellers to date Flash Forward 10 - it's amazing to see ALL the talent that has come from this program and knowing you had a small hand in helping everyone achieve success Self & Others - our upcoming tile just because I think it's a beauty
What has been your biggest challenge in achieving success? I look at challenges as things we just need to hurdle. I think our biggest challenge has always been how to keep our successes in check and make sure we never lose our personal touch with anything we do at Magenta.
What advice do you have for newcomers to book publishing? Try everything! Make mistakes, embrace technology and our ever changing industry and know there is a place for all of us out there.
How will you and your company be positioned in five years? That's a good question…. at this time, I can't actually say. We have expanded so much in the past 2 years, I'd rather keep moving forward as not knowing is great as well.
When you're not fully immersed in publishing, what do you do for fun? I do all the things we all do, watch movies, have dinner with friends and do my best to have fun.
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