Favorite PUBLISHING brands

So, following Friday’s off-piste post, I’ve been asked, “But what about publishing brands? Which are your favorites?”

Well, some of the brands I listed then were in fact publishing brands, at least in part. I refer to the British Library, the FT, and WordPress. But what about book publishing in particular?

Here are my favorites – again, judged subjectively – not by any scientific criteria.

As a reader, I guess my favorite is Lonely Planet. I don’t think of myself as brand loyal when it comes to travel guides – I always consider the options (for a forthcoming business trip to Ghana I’ve opted for the Bradt Guide). But the fact is, Lonely Planet:

  • usually wins the contest for my custom;
  • never disappoints. 

The guides (and the point applies too to those of close competitors, such as Rough Guides) have become so familiar that I think we’re apt to take them for granted.

When I stand back and think about them, however, they’re really rather astonishing: so much information, so readily retrievable, in such a handy format, at an amazingly low price. It’s difficult to think of a better value proposition for customers.

Seen through the lens of a  publishing professional, rather than a reader, I guess my favorite is Facet Publishing, the publishing arm of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals

I find the quality – editorial and authorial – of their publication consistently high. And, especially when judged as professional development resources, the books offer good value. And – perhaps unsurprisingly, given the press’s provenance – there is a genuine sense of a publishing venture that serves a community.

Certainly when we founded our Creative Writing Studies list, Facet was one of the presses we sought to learn from as a model (along with a few others, such as Ilex and Island).


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