Cottage Door Press Named Fastest Growing Independent Publisher, 2018


To be successful, presses forge a unique path

A version of this article appeared in the 04/09/2018 issue of Publishers Weekly under the headline: Fast-Growing Independent Publishers, 2018

Filling underserved niches and meeting the needs of consumers looking to understand changes in the country’s political and cultural environments helped several independent publishers make this year’s fast-growing indie publishers list. A number of these presses are relatively new, having barely been operating for longer than the three-year minimum required in order to qualify for the PW list.

Cottage Door Press has had extraordinary growth ever since it released its first titles in 2015, a year after it was founded by former Publications International president Richard Maddrell. The company’s focus continues to be on producing a range of products for babies and toddlers that align with its mission of “promoting reading aloud from birth.” 

According to marketing manager Melissa Tigges, much of Cottage Door’s growth last year, when sales grew 107% over 2016, was driven by increased distribution and an expanded list. In addition to other new initiatives in 2017, Cottage Door published its first licensed books with Baby Einstein and the Smithsonian, expanded its bestselling Early Book Song Book series, and added to its Love You Always series, which is done in a padded board book format. The company also took advantage of the gift market, expanding its seasonal offerings with line extensions in its lift-a-flap, padded board, and peek-a-flap formats for Valentine’s Day, Easter, Halloween, and Christmas. The company’s top-selling title continues to be the board book Grandma Wishes, which has more than 850,000 copies in print.

In addition to expanding its title count, Cottage Door has significantly broadened its distribution reach. Though its initial success was fueled by selling titles in targeted mass merchandisers, its recent growth, Tigges says, “is being driven by a diversity of titles and customers, including e-commerce, independent toy and bookstores, and international markets.” The publisher will continue to expand its reach in 2018 with the launch of a trade line that will feature four titles, including Cottage Door’s first picture book, Nothing Is Scary with Harry, by first-time author Katie McElligott. To accommodate its growth, Cottage Door plans to move to new offices this summer.

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