Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Don’t send a card, send a Penguin

Sharon Wildwind

What’s that thing they put at the end of medical research papers? Oh, yeah, full disclosure. Here’s my full disclosure. I am in no way connected to the Penguin Group, nor do I or this blog benefit in any way from mentioning Penguin, or penguins here. But when I read that line this morning, I just knew I had to write about sending Penguins for the holidays.

There’s the wrapping.

The mailing. (The astute among you will recognize a Canadian mail box, which, unlike it’s American counterparts, has square corners, and is painted red.)

And finally, what happens at the post office.

Today the Penguin Group USA launched what it calls Penguin 2.0. Part of that is Penguin Personalized. Apropos of the holidays, the first title offered is “A Christmas Carol and Other Christmas Writings,” a collection of short stories by Charles Dickens. You write a personal inscription for each copy of the book you purchase. Penguin personalizes a copy with your inscription, and mails it for you. Holiday shopping solved.

To learn more about this service and other clever ideas that Penguin is promoting, visit their web site:

When I took a serious look at this idea, something finally clicked in my head. I’ve read a constant stream of marketing updates, from half a dozen on-line sources, and for some time now, have assessed them intellectually, with a range of internal comments, such as,“Nice idea.” “Clever idea.” “Stupid idea.” or “Who the heck thought THAT one up?”

Today was the day that I realized I wasn’t looking at marketing as it might be in the future, but at marketing as it is today. The future has gotten here a little faster than I thought it would. And if I want to keep up, I have to start thinking about non-book tie-ins that I can use to market the books I’m writing now.

I’m not quite sure how this will work yet. Heck, I just realized how the world had changed only a few hours ago. In some way I turned a corner today. I don’t think I will every go back to thinking of a book as just a book.
Marketing quotes for the week:

Here are some other marketing ideas that are already done deals.

Seven-figure deal (Dutton) for 3 digital novels: a hybrid, including filmed components and an interactive social networking site. “I want to give traditional crime novel readers a more immersive experience; [give] publishing a chance to catch up with the YouTube generation that has lost passion for reading. I personally don't have the attention economy to read a 250-page crime novel from start to finish. I realized that the way I'd like to consume a novel is to be rewarded every couple of chapters by seeing something visual that enhances the narrative.”~Anthony Zuiker, CSI creator, August 2008

Rowman & Littlefield (imprints include Scarecrow Press, AltaMira Press and Lexington Books—all scholarly presses for textbooks and social sciences), has partnered with the Online Computer Library Center’s NetLibrary and Amazon’s Kindle to make available all of its frontlist and selected backlist as e-books. The goal is to have 10,000 titles in e-book format within two years.~Jed Lyons, president and CEO of Rowman & Littlefield, October 2008

When I started at the Boulder (Colorado) Bookstore 16 years ago, I used to think of the bookstore as a glorified library where you can buy everything. Now I think of it as a glorified living room. Everything that can entertain the family is here. The definition of what we do has enlarged in order for us to stay around.~Arsen Kashkashien, head buyer and inventory manager, on Boulder’s 35th anniversary, Sept 2008
All cartoons are © Sharon Wildwind and may not be reproduced or forwarded without permission.

1 comment:

Joyce said...

Love the cartoons, Sharon!

And you can always send (or ask to receive) one of the Pittsburgh Penguins, some of them are rather cute...