The topics will vary, and all books will be branded USA Today. They will feature art and content from the 25-year-old national newspaper. The publication, which has more than 5 million daily readers, according to Susan Lavington, USA Today's senior vice president of marketing, says "the time is right to extend the brand into book publishing, calendars and other products for consumers."
The Gannett-owned newspaper has retained Nancy Bailey & Associates, a corporate brand licensing agency, to develop new products that complement its core assets. Linda Morgenstern, NB&A's executive vice president, adds that the best way to extend the newspaper's brand equities was into "longer-form publications."
To that end, USA Today has formed an alliance with Nolo, a publisher of legal information, which will co-produce a 12-book series of biz and legal guides. The first is due in February. Sports Publishing, which will publish a hardcover celebrating "25 Years of USA Today," will also produce "A Year in Sports, 2007" which will debut in time to capitalize on holiday gift buying.
The other partnerships include Sterling Publishing, which will publish eight USA Today crossword puzzle books next spring; Andrews McMeel, known for its books and calendars, such as Sudoku and Dilbert; and Mead Westvaco, another big calendar publisher, which will create a 2008 USA Today Year-In-A-Box (R) Multi-Puzzle Calendar.
Lavington says the newspaper's expertise in news and information is a brand readers "know, enjoy and trust."