Wednesday, March 6, 2013

It's A Bird! It's A Plane! No, it's... SOHO PRESS!

After last week’s blog on success story, Colin Cotterill, and his fresh new novel The Woman Who Couldn’t Die, we once again must pay tribute to the powerhouse publisher and Benay client, Soho Press.

Jim Milliot’s review last week in Publishers Weekly gave Soho Press my – and I’m fairly sure, everyone’s – undivided attention.  Milliot cites the company as having a 96% sales increase from last year’s period, alone.  That’s higher than any other independent publisher across the nation, including Other Press, a neighbor of Soho in Manhattan, BenBella Books out of Dallas, Smithsonian Books out of Washington, D.C. and Ulysses Press over in Berkeley, California.

So what has this stellar valedictorian done to reach the top of its class?  Milliot gives us the inside scoop on four key steps that the publisher has taken to achieve such astronomical success:
Digital Publishing: In last two years Soho has focused many of its efforts on developing the digital sector of the company.  In 2012 e-books accounted for just over half of the company’s total sales, with the format representing 43% of sales for literary titles and 67% of the titles under the Soho Crime imprint.

Marketing and Publicity: Soho nearly doubled their promotional budget from January of 2011 and gave a slight increase to the numbers behind the marketing and publicity team.  They also broadened their advertisement horizons, sticking to traditional media mediums while utilizing the social media boom to their utmost advantage.

Distribution Reform: Seeing the opportunities that could come from working through a large-scale distributor, Soho turned to Random House for distribution services in January 2011 and broadened their outreach significantly, reaching audiences overseas.

General Growth:  In 2013 Soho plans to launch a new imprint for young adult novels called Soho Teen.  The new addition will add 12 titles to the 64 titles that the company has already published.

Soho Press Publisher, Bronwen Hruska
And the best part, if you can even believe that it get better - they are just so darn down-to-earth!  Look no further than the About Us page to see for yourselves.  Among other things, the Soho team boasts the qualities of a former cactus model, self-proclaimed habitual defector, and greek yogurt lover.  Publisher Bronwen Hruska pokes a bit of fun at herself, saying “None of the screenplays [I] sold were ever made into movies so you can’t watch them.” 

Hruska has had a bit of additional success recently with her book Accelerated – a gripping commentary on the tendency that our society has to jump the gun on ADD and ADHD diagnoses in children.

All in all, she and her team seem to achieve the embodiment of modern grace, thriving in the fast-paced culture of today’s business world without selling their souls.  It’s one of the more refreshing things I’ve seen to date.  I’d recommend Soho for any young professional as a good business model simply because, ladies and gentlemen, Soho Press is on fire.

If you’d like to learn more about Soho Press, visit their website at

- Colleen McClintock

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