Partner Success StoriesArcadia Publishing can reach new buyers for several thousand titles with Google Books
With a catalog of more than 3,000 titles in print, Arcadia Publishing is the leading local and regional history publisher in the United States. Arcadia uses state of the art technology to create quality historical publications in small local niches, including such series as Images of America, Campus History, Then and Now and Corporate History. Founded in 1993, the company employs 70 people in its Mt. Pleasant, S.C., headquarters and four regional offices. Arcadia typically produces about 500 new titles each year.
As a high-volume specialty publisher, Arcadia faces two distinct challenges. One is the local nature of its catalog. "We publish books that are relevant not only to people who live in the area the book covers, but also people who used to live there, people who want to live there, people who had family who lived there," says Director of Sales Kate Everingham. "But typically, the only way to do targeted marketing is to sell the book in local bookstores, which doesn't reach all these constituencies." A second challenge is the sheer volume and frequency of titles Arcadia produces – about 8 to 10 new books each week. "Our marketing depends on people knowing that we specialize in local titles, rather than assuming they know about any single title. It's a big challenge to market such a big catalog effectively."
Arcadia has an internal team that focuses on Internet marketing, which consists of a variety of approaches, such as Amazon's recommendation program, leveraging reviews and mentions in local publications, and conducting direct email marketing campaigns for current customers.
When the Arcadia team heard about Google Books in the fall of 2004 through colleagues in the publishing industry, they decided to explore adding the program to their marketing efforts. Everingham notes that initially, "within the company, we had some questions about how this would work with our current contracts, and our general consensus was that our standard contract allows us to use a certain percentage of the content to promote the title. And Google Books clearly has copyright protected on every page, so we were very satisfied." Arcadia submitted all of its front-list titles, and then submitted every single available title in its catalog.
The appeal of Google Books is that it's "a way of increasing visibility and public awareness of what Arcadia does, which will eventually increase our title awareness," says Everingham. "And we hope that, in turn, will influence sales. Google Books
Currently, Arcadia has more than 1,000 titles in Google Books, with approximately 1,000 more in process. "We have submitted everything that is currently active and has already been published, and we typically send books every week," says Everingham. She adds that although it's too early to track specific results, Google Books "seems like it's going to be very successful. Our experience to date has been really positive. It was a cinch to enroll in the program and get started."
Asked about other aspects of Google Books, Everingham says, "It's unique – hard to compare to other online marketing programs." She adds, "Most people use Google as their default search engine, so when you search for a town name, we come up really high on the search results, and that is exciting for us. And then to be able to steer people to our books and enable them to buy really adds value for us."
About Google Books
Google Books enables publishers to promote their books on Google. Google scans the full text of participating publishers' titles so that Google users can see books that match the topics they are searching on. When users click on a book search result, they're taken to a Google-hosted web page displaying a scanned image of the relevant page from the book. Each page also contains multiple "Buy this Book" links, which enable users to purchase the book from online retailers. Users may also see contextually targeted Google AdWords ads on these pages. Publishers will receive a share of the revenue generated from ads appearing on their content.