Colin Robinson & OR Books: Handselling Online

By Jason Boog Comment

orlogo.jpgToday’s guest on Mediabistro’s Morning Media Menu was Colin Robinson, co-founder of the new publisher, OR Books. The company focuses on a stripped-down distribution model with the unofficial motto, “No book printed until it’s sold.”

Robinson discussed OR’s newest book (Rich People Things),  book promotion strategies, and what he learned after he lost his job at a major publisher. Press play below to listen to the whole interview.

Here’s an excerpt: “At first we just put up some big ads on all the big sites. We did a lot of big advertising on places like The Nation and The Guardian, on BoingBoing and AlterNet … We’ve realized over the last year [that] blanket advertising is useful for putting the book into the Zeitgiest–but what really sells books on the Internet is a kind of handselling.”

He concluded: “That means going to quite small communities and entering into a detailed discussion with them. The longer we go, the more [community] we are going to get.  It’s quite important for us to publish in threads. Our list is quite diverse we publish fiction, politics, and culture. Within those general catergories, we are trying to pick themes so that we can go back to existing customers with our next book in their area.”