Sunday, December 28, 2008

History Sells

Did you know that history sells? I was surprised to learn that it does, when it comes to books. I was reading an article in The State called “S.C.-based Publishing Company Thrives” when I came across this:
History always ranks among the top publishing genres. It was No. 3 in sales nationally last year behind biography and romance, according to Michael Norris, editor of Simba’s Book Publishing Report newsletter.
Did you know that?

The article focuses on niche sales and a company called History Press in particular. History Press, five years old, had sales that topped 200,000 books this year. The article says this about History Press:
Operations such as History Press “are something the publishing industry needs to talk about more often,” Norris said. “It’s not all about blockbuster novels put out by the major publishing houses. There are so many opportunities with niche publishing.”
History Press not only publishes niche books, they market those books in niche places like national park’s visitors centers or tourist stops or general stores. They focus on grass-roots selling in gift shops, restaurants and retail stores.

Not a bad marketing plan for authors looking for new outlets for their books.


  1. Good post, Helen. I've found that to be true with my historical nonfiction books. Some of the best places to sell are national parks, historical tourist gift shops and museums.

  2. It was at a national park that I first learned of CJ Box. Now we look for each book as it comes out.

  3. History and Biographies are both hits in our house. Mark is currently working his way through the US Presidents. He usually reads more than one biography of each so that he gains the benefit of different points of view and different slants on history.

    I recommend niche markets to any author. We sell as many books in non-book stores (mostly gift shops) as we do in traditional book stores.

  4. Who is CJ Box?

  5. C.J. Box is a very talented southern Wyoming writer, Anonymous.
    And Helen, it must have been Yellowstone where you found C.J.


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