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Folio Fans: The anatomy of a unique publisher

This is a guest post by Toby Hartwell, the former Managing Director of The Folio Society. I love his description of the success of The Folio Society.

It may not come as a surprise to those of you who are aware of The Folio Society that this bastion of traditional hard back publishing is also home to some very interesting fans. They are core to the continued survival of Folio and rejoice in the relationship that they have with the publisher. Folio is probably alone as a book publisher in having such a strong direct relationship with its customers at the heart of its business model. Over the years it has engendered the perfect breeding ground for passionate and enthusiastic followers of its brand. For those unfamiliar with The Folio Society, the company has, for the last 67 years been publishing beautiful illustrated editions of some of the world’s greatest books. In a sector where roughly 95% of book sales are at prices below £20, some 95% of Folio books are priced at above £20 and many of them are hefty three figure prices. Arguably, if you look at the publishing sector as a whole all Folio buyers are already book super fans in some way.

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The (Almost) Perfect Email

This is a guest post from Jessie Scoullar of Wicksteed Works, a direct-to-fan agency, on how to make email campaigns zing.

We’re signed up to a lot of mailing lists. For solo artists, major artists, indie guitar bands, rock bands, dance acts, independent labels, for authors and filmmakers and agencies and marketing consultants.

We’re professionally interested in how people with a message choose to convey it. Whenever we receive a mailer, we can’t help but scrutinise it – does the layout work? Are the buttons “bulletproof“? Has alternate text been used where the email client has images switched off? Is it optimised for mobile? How about the text – is the message clear? Is there too much, or too little information? Clear call-to-action?

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Why traditional publishers should surrender to self-publishing

This guest post by Eoin Purcell originally appeared on his own blog.

I had a fascinating conversation with Porter Anderson as part of The Booksellers #PorterMeets on Twitter on Monday. The topic was Hugh Howey’s AuthorEarnings project (after they released the original 7,000 report but before they released the 50,000 report) which has been raising hackles and causing ruckus in publishing the last few weeks. The conversation fired up loads of thoughts about self publishing and I wanted, following that discussion, to write a post that encapsulates the discussion and the reality of self publishing now. Continue Reading