Is niche publishing the way of the future for the trades?
Not only is focusing on a specific niche beneficial in terms of selling books, it ultimately helps a publisher grow by establishing authority within their niche. Because niche publishers are focused on engaging with a targeted audience, they must concentrate on building a brand and a mission; they can’t just publish books.
Chelsea Green started off as a generalist, but they now publish books on “the politics and practice of sustainable living” and are firmly entrenched as a valued member of their community. Baldwin emphasized that it wasn’t only being niche that helped them grow, but realizing the importance of publishing with a mission – an overarching principal that pulls the company forward.
“We saw 7% growth over 2008 last year in an industry that is flat or down, so something (our community focus, newsletters, etc.) is paying off,” noted Baldwin.