Justine Schofield Discusses Building Brand Loyalty in Publishin

  • Justine is on our Board of Advisors- The full articles can be read here:


    The publishing industry, as we all know, has changed drastically along with the rise of different technologies. There is one thing, though, that hasn’t changed at all: the lack of brand loyalty to a traditional publisher. Are publishing houses not a brand? They consistently produce the highest quality products possible, each aimed towards their target market, but readers don’t shop with publishers in mind. Rather, readers seek authors they are loyal to.

    Even now, in a time where self-published authors are gaining a lot of traction and popularity, publishers aren’t losing credibility. They still hold an esteemed role in the book publishing process as curators and producers of high quality work. Without publishers, the book industry wouldn’t be as robust as it is today, so I wonder why they aren’t recognized more for the role they play.

    Often, people don’t even know who the publisher is for a book because, to be frank, they don’t have to. I’m one of those people and it wasn’t until I began working in publishing that it even dawned on me to check out who the publisher was for my favorite book.

    I think a major part of how we, as consumers, are trained to think about books is derived from how we shop. If we walk into a bookstore, books are organized alphabetically by author. There’s no grouping of books by publisher. If we buy a book online, we go to a retail site, not the publisher’s website. As readers, we think about books with the consumer mentality, with little to no thought about where the books came from before the bookstore, or in many cases, before they land neatly packaged in brown cardboard on our doorstep.

    I’m not saying this way of thinking is wrong. The lack of recognition for curators and producers extends to other entertainment industries too, such as movies and music. However, with all the changes and the assumption of many that publishing is a struggling industry, it may be time for publishers to begin considering how they can more effectively promote their brand, rather than just their authors.

    At Pubslush, we’re working to provide publishers with the tools to create more of a sense of brand loyalty. Our Publisher Pages allow publishers to join our vibrant literary community by creating branded pages, customized with their logo, social media, etc. Through these pages, publishers can conduct crowdfunding or pre-order campaigns, depending on the needs or objectives of the company. Every reader that supports a campaign or pre-orders a book is added to the publisher’s community page.

    Yes, publishers can now have communities. What a novel idea, right?

    By enabling publishers to build their own community of readers, they now have access to their audience and can foster a relationship and connection, all on the same page that showcases their upcoming and current titles. No matter how big or small a publisher, the absence of any reader/publisher relationship is the missing link in the process. Readers are, after all, the ultimate deciding factor to the success of a book, so it’s important for publishers to build their relationship with them.

    The emphasis on community building in publishing won’t change the way people think about or buy books, but at the very least, it will be a way to bring together all players in the publishing process—publishers, authors and readers—and create a more successful process, and industry, for all.



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