Jim ChildsAt this month’s PubWest 2016 Conference, Jim Childs, publisher at Rowman & Littlefield’s Globe Pequot, Lyons Press, and Falcon Guides, offered “a tour of ‘non-book’ thinking from all over the place.”

As Childs noted in his lunchtime keynote at the LaFonda Hotel in Santa Fe, book publishing continues to defy the experts’ expectations and has survived close brushes with near extinction in the last decade. The true, creative action is happening on the edge, in small- to mid-sized publishers, he asserted. These somewhat fierce (but truly friendly) publishers con­tinue to discover and reinvent themselves in distinctive ways, he told the group.

As Childs pointed out on his special tour, successful “creative edge publishing” techniques including continual business “re-framing” to fit evolving markets; creating and sustaining a dynamic, creative team; leveraging brand partnerships as content wells and marketing platform “megaphones”; managing business momentum vs. target to sustain growth; playing to the advantage of market immersion—tracking trends, rising star talent and market expertise; thinking about books as content platforms and edit wells; and the competitive advantage of getting out of the office and connecting face-to-face.

Rowman & Littlefield appointed Jim Childs as publisher of its trade division in October 2014. He was previously president of Time Home Entertainment and publisher of Oxmoor House.

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