One name to rule them all

Eoin Purcell

Change is Afoot

When I read this news it gave me a little shock. Thomas Nelson, a publisher which began its life in Scotland in the 18th Century is to cease using its 18 imprint names and instead from 1st April 2006 switch to a single brand and identity Thomas Nelson Publishers. From the Publishers Weekly piece:

In a move called the One Company Initiative, Thomas Nelson is eliminating all of its imprints and reorganizing its publishing functions around strategic publishing units keyed to BISAC category codes. The company’s 18 imprints (as well as the three it just acquired with its purchase of Integrity) will be phased out effective April 1

At first I was stunned that such a venerable publishing would almost callously discard tried, trusted and tested brands. But on reflection the logic of Thomas Nelson’s move is unquestionable.

On this blog I have said before that the drive of the industry will force publishers into more and better branding; both of themselves and their authors.

This move can be seen as a crucial first step in that process. No need to spend money identifying a new imprint or establishing a profile for it. You brand the publisher and ensure quality then build each author and each book separately.

Those of you who wonder about that and the decision made should read some of Michael Hyatt’s views on his excellent blog Working Smart. You will see that he is perceptive and thoughtful and would not have made this move without due consideration.

I wonder will this start a trend to towards consolidation of publishing within companies and under one central imprint?

Wondering why I haven’t blogged in so long

[Via Terry Whalin’s blog]