Printers Respect Book Publishers As Small Businesses
Publishers are small business. According to the Publishers’ Marketing Association, there are 55,000 publishers; five large publishers, 300 medium sized publishers and the rest are small. All of the large publishing houses are part of larger media conglomerates such as Bertlesmann, Viacom, Disney or News Corporation. Even the largest publishers are small compared to the other media within the media conglomerates. The entire book publishing industry is a $23 billion dollar business. Do you think that Rupert Murdock, CEO of News Corporation, or Michael Eisner, CEO of Disney, lay awake at night worrying about how their book businesses are performing? No. They are more worried about their movie or TV businesses. In fact, Sumner Redstone, CEO of Viacom, is selling off the book business to concentrate on the other media.
The fact that all book publishing is small business is an important dynamic to remember when working with book publishers. The needs of book publishers are the same as the needs of any other small business. Those printers already serving small and medium sized businesses have an advantage over those that do not.
The two main concerns for book publishers are distribution and marketing, regardless of the size of the publisher. These are the same issues faced by any small business. The printers dealing with the small businesses are aware of these needs and find ways to help their small business customers overcome these challenges. It’s easy, therefore, to establish rapport with the publishers because these printers already have solutions to offer.
Keep this advantage in mind. When competing against a larger book printer, the smaller book printer must emphasize the benefit of working with them because they already understand, and have overcome, the publisher’s challenges for other customers. This experience levels the playing field between small publishers and larger ones such as Banta, Edwards Brothers, Central Plains, Cushing-Malloy and Fidlar-Doubleday.