This article appears in the January 13-19, 2010 issue of the Fort Myers Florida Weekly. It is available at Florida Weekly – Barringer Publishing. It also appears in the February 4-10 issue of the Naples Florida Weekly.
For Jeff Schlesinger, whose advertising and marketing career includes over two decades in Naples, the collapse of home building presented a challenge. Many of his clients are local builders whose misfortunes have been his as well. After researching new ways to apply his talents and experience, Mr. Schlesinger made a surprising choice: book publishing. Most failed publishing endeavors, he believes result from faulty marketing – and marketing savvy is Mr. Schlesinger’s forté.
Barringer Publishing, a name that combines his own last name with that of his wife – psychologist-author Dr. Molly Barrow – is a full service publishing house that guides authors through four major steps: publishing, marketing, graphics, and advertising. For Jeff Schlesinger, however, marketing considerations embrace the entire process. Authors who do not want piles of books in their closets need carefully designed plans that target potential readers and turn them into buyers.
With a background in art, Mr. Schlesinger feels that his creative side is responsive to the needs and aspirations of authors. He savors the preliminary conversations that eventually build the author-publisher relationship. Mr. Schlesinger entered advertising from the perspective of graphic design, and he steps into publishing with both that interest and decades of marketing know-how.
“Publishing,” for Jeff Schlesinger, includes editorial assistance, cover design, interior layout and design, and printing. A book’s appearance must attract attention and provide a message. The impact of the cover and the power of the title are essential marketing decisions. So are decisions about manufacturing quality, distribution channels, and pricing. Each book’s price must include a percentage allotted to marketing costs.
“Marketing” includes public relations, media contacts, review copies, mailings, press releases, networking (electronic and otherwise), and speaking engagements. Branding the author as an expert on topics addressed in the book opens up marketing opportunities.
“Graphics” supplements book design with advertising design, handouts, bookmarks, fliers, web site design, business cards, and posters for book signings and other exhibits. For Mr. Schlesinger, “a distinctive, cohesive graphics campaign is essential.”
“Advertising” goes beyond ad design to include print and electronic media placement. Barringer Publishing works to define the market for a book and reach that market “with the correct message as cost effectively as possible.” Many books have niche markets (“grandparents purchase four out of ten children’s books”), and advertising campaigns must exploit media that truly reach the potential buyers.
Self-published authors have the opportunity to make far more money per book than authors who work with traditional “royalty” publishers. However, this opportunity cannot be realized unless the authors receive appropriate guidance and assistance. Jeff Schlesinger developed Barringer Publications to do just that.
Published authors unhappy with their books are turning to Barringer Publishing for book makeovers. Makeovers typically include reshaping the book’s content, stylistic smoothing, a new title, enhanced graphics, more astute production and pricing decisions, and – of course – an effective marketing plan.
Barringer Publications established its initial list of titles primarily by word of mouth, and interest has spread far beyond Naples, aided by the promise of a 60-day turnaround time and the showpiece titles by Dr. Molly Barrow.
Jeff Schlesinger has discovered that there are many good writers in the Naples area, accomplished people with fascinating experiences who are ready to share what life has brought them and taught them. He intends to help them refine their voices, share their stories and insights, and do it all effectively.
If a book already in print is in desperate need of a strong marketing campaign, Mr. Schlesinger offers that service as well. For information, write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Coming soon (along with new Dr. Molly Barrow titles):
“Six Months to Dr. – How I Completed My Dissertation in Six Months and Saved Thousands of Dollars” by Dr. Judi Cineas, Ph. D. The title says it all. February.
“Seven Soldiers” by Philip Storm. This substantial makeover of a fact-based Vietnam War novel involves seven military brothers, a golden triangle drug operation, and the Congressional Medal of Honor. February.
“Why Men Must Lie to Women” by Philip Storm. What types of lies are there? When do men/boys start lying to women, and why are they compelled to become experts in the art of lying? March.
“Why Wait? Be Happy Now,” by Donna Daisy, Ph.D. A self-help book answering the question, why wait for something to happen to provide your happiness when you can be happy now? Even people living in dire circumstances can attain happiness by following good advice. March.