Founded in 1979, Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers focused first on the publication of Latin-language textbooks for the high school and college market. But four years ago, the company gradually began expanding its line to include English-language books in such categories as reference, historical fiction, literary criticism, history and philosophy. Now the Wauconda, Ill., publisher has added trade distribution to its marketing mix, said Marie Bolchazy, v-p of Bolchazy-Carducci.
The first major title to make an impact in the non-academic market was The World Dictionary of Foreign Expressions. This June, B-C released its first four titles in an English-language historical fiction series set in the Roman Republic. Bolchazy said the series has drawn a lot of interest.
The company has also developed one of the quirkier niches in publishing—publishing Latin editions of Dr. Seuss books. B-C released its first Latin Seuss title, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, four years ago and published The Cat in the Hat two years ago. The two titles have sold a total of 74,000 copies. Scheduled for release next year is Green Eggs and Ham. Bolchazy said publishing the Seuss titles in Latin is not only good business, but "part of our mission to popularize Latin."
Bolchazy said B-C has spaced out its Seuss offerings because each book demands "lots of promotion." In addition to drumming up media attention, B-C needs to coordinate with the chains just where the titles will be shelved. To help highlight the books, B-C has also taken tables in some stores. The company is now gearing up to promote the Latin edition of Shel Silverstein's The Giving Tree. Bolchazy believes The Giving Tree, like the Seuss books, will be read by both children and adults.
With its growing roster of English-language titles, the company is attending the Frankfurt Book Fair for the first time this year as part of the American Collective Stand. Although Bolchazy said she found dealing with Frankfurt exasperating at times, she has more than 20 meetings set with international publishers. "I'm very pleased with the response," she said.
Bolchazy said that current plans call for the company, which has a backlist of more than 150 titles, to continue to publish about 10 new titles and 10 reprints annually. After posting steady sales gains of 10%—15% annually, revenues fell in 2001, but Bolchazy said business has picked up again in 2002.