Growing Companies

Once upon a time, if you had a niche publication, it might be enough to publish a book-sized directory of the leaders, the movers-and-the-shakers, and the up-and-comers in your communities. That could last for years.

Or perhaps, you would put out a glossy magazine featuring profiles of those people, a summary of local events and a discussion of issues of concern to those you are striving to reach. That would cover a few months. More recently, of course, you would have to have a website, updated regularly, highlighting and expanding all the above aspects and adding links to other resources with a common interest. That would be a daily, or even hourly, affair.

Or, you could do all three.

"The Women's Book is a multi-media directory to local resources for women," said Carla D. Walker, president of think BIG strategies and associate publisher of the Cincinnati edition.

"We are a one-stop-shop to help readers find what's going on for and by women in their communities. The resources we showcase include woman-owned businesses, nonprofits and groups, and women-oriented events. We also feature inspiring profiles of accomplished and emerging women leaders, and women's views on issues impacting their lives."

It's a media enterprise that TaKeysha Sheppard Cheney began in Columbus, and started moving into the Cincinnati market last year. It's also looking to move into Cleveland, and Walker said the long-term goal is to develop directories for other metropolitan areas within and outside of Ohio.

"Each edition of The Women's Book's printed publications is tailored for and features resources that are specific to individual cities," Walker said.

In Cincinnati, the website is up and running. The thrice-yearly free magazine - called The Collective for Women - will premiere on March 29 in a partnership with the Cincinnati Museum Center, and the $25 ticket includes a private viewing of the Cleopatra exhibit. The 2010-2011 Cincinnati edition of the coffee-table Women's Book Directory was released last year, and is available at Joseph Beth Booksellers. The 2011-2012 edition is scheduled to be released in October.

Tiana Rollinson, the former managing editor of The Cincinnati Herald, is the managing editor of the Cincinnati project.

"Our theme for The Women's Book in 2011 is confidence -  getting it, keeping it, and passing it along," Walker said.

The publications will target professional women who take time to give back to their communities, Walker said. Polling shows the average reader to be between 35-55 years old.

"What sets our publication apart from 'traditional' women's magazines is that we spotlight local resources created for and by women," Walker said. "We help readers gain access to resources they need to be successful and to contribute to the collective success of women."

By: Paul A. Long
Source: Carla D. Walker, associate publisher
The Women's Book
Cincinnati, OH