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literary brands

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz Gets the Superhero Treatment

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 5, 2013 11:12 AM

One comic book hero (Spiderman) was inspired by creator Stan Lee watching a spider climb up a wall. Another (The Incredible Hulk) came about when Lee combined the story of Frankenstein with The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Now comes one that is based on a coffee-swilling businessman who has no superpowers but managed to create one of the world’s most well-known brands.

Howard Schultz: The Man Behind Starbucks chronicles the life and times of the brand’s CEO as he takes the company from a hippiefied java joint in Seattle's Pike Place Market to a global behemoth in just 32 pages—or the time it takes to consume a venti skim latte and a cinnamon swirl coffee cake.

"After reading (autobiography) Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life Without Losing Its Soul by Howard Schultz, I thought he would be a great subject for a comic book,” Darren G. Davis, the head of publisher Bluewater Productions told Ad Age. “I love telling stories of people who are inspirational like Schultz and have a great back-story."Continue reading...

literary brands

Harry Potter E-Books Chalk Up $5M in First Month

Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 7, 2012 12:03 PM

Kids and Young Adult (YA) e-book sales in the U.S. grew by triple digits in February, reports the Association of American Publishers, as compared to relatively flat adult e-book sales figures. The total for e-book sales in the category is close to 25 million sold in January 2012.

The key contributing factor: adults are devouring YA e-books like The Hunger Games trilogy, and — still — Harry Potter. The Hunger Games franchise held the top three spots for the month of January on both the physical bestseller list and the Kindle paid bestseller list, appearing on USA Today’s bestseller list and taking first place for Amazon and Kindle sales. With the March release of the movie, stats on e-book sales to be released next month could be record-breaking.

On the Pottermore e-hub, which was announced last June, Harry Potter e-book sales reached close to 525,000 in the first month, totaling about $4.8 million. The Pottermore e-bookstore launched on March 27 as the exclusive place to buy Harry Potter e-books and digital audiobooks followed by the full Potter digi-verse on April 14.Continue reading...

literary brands

Timbuktu Spearheads iPad Apps for Kids

Posted by Jennifer Bassett on April 12, 2011 03:00 PM

Yesterday saw the launch of Timbuktu: the first iPad magazine for kids. The inaugural issue is now available for free through iTunes.

The magazine, which aims to present kids with news using colorful graphics, simple language, and sound, joins numerous apps targeted to children on the market. Indeed, since its launch, one of the iPad’s unforeseen positive surprises has been its use as a helpful interactive learning tool for kids. The device is even being used as a tool to educate children with autism.Continue reading...

literary brands

Preppy Handbook… Redux

Posted by Sheila Shayon on April 5, 2010 10:32 AM

Is there still room in the 21st century for Muffy and Chip?

True Prep, the sequel to The Official Preppy Handbook, is being readied for release, three decades after the first preppy primer successfully sold 1.3 million copies.

Again – we’ll be advised on where to shop, what to wear, and how to put the greens and pinks together in the right way. In fact, the original primer’s book jacket was plaid.

Back in the 1980’s, the original took a tongue-in-cheek attitude towards the class of alcohol buzzed, loafer-clad, polo-shirt prepsters. Greed was good and Wall Street thriving.Continue reading...

literary brands

Newspapers Must Better Leverage Their Brands, Study Says

Posted by Dale Buss on April 1, 2010 04:01 PM

Newspapers have faced decades – and especially two intense years – of unrelenting bad headlines about their own industry. But a new report by McKinsey suggests reasons for optimism for the business, based largely on the possibilities for building on the trust level that the industry brand has established with consumers.

Nearly every week for the last few years, some major newspaper or chain has reported circulation declines, layoffs or other nasty developments. These have set off major structural changes which have laid low even the titans of the medium. Practically no brand has been able to escape the effects of a perfect storm in the newspaper marketplace: abysmal levels of advertising because of the economy, rising competition from Internet and TV news, and to some extent a greater level of suspicion by the American people in the very institution of newspapering.

But now in its McKinsey Quarterly magazine, the renowned consulting firm says that – based on its own research largely conducted in the UK – “newspapers have an important inherent advantage as they face the challenges of the digital age – trust.” Consumers trust newspapers more than any other medium, McKinsey says, and 66 percent actually trust newspaper advertising as “informative and confidence inspiring” versus just 44 percent who feel that way about TV and only 12 percent for the web.Continue reading...

literary brands

You Can’t Judge An E-book By The Cover

Posted by Sheila Shayon on April 1, 2010 08:11 AM

The era of the anonymous reader is upon us.You can’t tell a book by its cover anymore as so many people are replacing old-fashioned books with electronic readers, Kindles, and the much anticipated Apple iPad available this coming Saturday.
The advent of the e-book brings a new chapter to powers of observation traditionally embraced by print book readers – at the beach, on the subway, on a plane – and on the proverbial coffee table: It’s no longer possible to see what others are reading, nor to publically display your own literary preferences.

The element of free advertising is gone – and the residual bump publishers achieved from book cover sales is a thing of the past. In bookstores, still the primary place of book sales, covers remain a crucial tool. “If you have already passed that hurdle of having a customer be attracted to the cover, and then they pick up the book, an enormous battle has been won,” according to Patricia Bostelman, VP, Marketing at Barnes & Noble.Continue reading...

literary brands

Digital Invitations Your Mother Approves…

Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 22, 2010 11:10 AM

Digital invitations take two steps forward and one step back – to a place and time in history where invitations were things of beauty and taste.

Paperless Post is taking on the veteran leader Evite, and others in the category, and returning the art of the invite to personalized stationery – ink and paper online.

Founded by a brother and sister team, both in their twenties, Paperless Post does not accept advertising. James and Alexa Hirschfeld, as though schooled in the Jane Austen era, believe that advertising, in the invitation business, is interference.  “An ad interposes itself in what should be a purely interpersonal communication,” says James.

Paperless Post’s business model is based on digital “stamps.” Twenty stamps are twenty cents apiece – 300 stamps and above, five cents each. One stamp for one invitation. Inserting an envelope liner or photograph requires extra postage.Continue reading...

literary brands

American Greetings’ "Lenticular" Cards Make Their Debut

Posted by Dale Buss on March 19, 2010 04:40 PM

It can be difficult to make waves in the venerable greeting-card business. The appearance of humor some decades ago might have been the biggest innovation. Not far behind in impact has been Hallmark’s far more recent move to put music clips on computer chips in cards.

Now, American Greetings – which has always played Avis to Hallmark’s Hertz in this industry – is hoping to create a new buzz for its brand with its “hi-definition lenticular” card line.

The Cleveland-based company isn’t exactly claiming that its lenticular cards will seem as sharply defined as a high-definition TV screen, nor that they’re three-dimensional per se, a popular trend now in movies with Avatar’s success.Continue reading...

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