SIDEBAR: Scranton Gillette put all eight of its trade books on the Web.

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Officials at Scranton Gillette Communications didn't put their eight trade books on the Web until their surveys showed that a majority of their readers were using the Internet regularly for business research.

Now, after more than six months online, executives at the Chicago-area publisher say their Web venture is changing the magazines for the better, and already generating enough revenue to pay for itself.

"Our magazines are monthly . . . but online we can give our readers more content, and update them so they read more like weeklies, even dailies," said Ed Gillette, VP-corporate sales at the company, which publishes technical books.

Mr. Gillette said the company put up Web sites for its eight books for less than $100,000.

Unique visits to the sites, he said, are increasing an average of about 10% a week. The company is generating revenue from the online versions in a number of ways.

"We are selling traditional ad banners, but we charge for linking the banner to the advertisers' home page," Mr. Gillette said. The company also charges advertisers a fee for linking any mention of their companies' names in the magazine's content to their home pages.

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