91 LOGOS The niche website: Key to publisher-author-reader dialogue Richard Abel Dick Abel graduated in Medieval History from Reed College, Portland, Oregon, where he still lives, more than forty years ago. After graduate work in the same field at the University of California, he became a book- seller, establishing in 1960 his eponymous company which became a major supplier of books to academic and research libraries in the United States and around the world. This company is now Blackwell North America. In the mid-1970s, Abel became an independent publisher, his principal interest being Timber Press, founded in 1977, which publishes books on horticulture and plant sciences. He also started Amadeus Press in 1985, to publish books on music. Niche publishers – serving clearly identified fields with turnovers of a few million dollars – have a unique opportunity to use their websites creatively. Depending, for the most part, upon direct sales to worldwide readers, niche publishers understand their markets well and do not need to depend on conven- tional trade channels to reach their core customers. They tend to survive by publishing to small special interest groups in fields by-passed by their larger, market-dominant counterparts – coupled with the
Logos – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2000
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