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ECPA | dp Book Cover Awards: RISC





Based on the ground-breaking book study by the Research Institute on Social Change (RISC|AmeriScan), ECPA and Dickinson Press developed the ECPA | dp Book Cover Award in 2007 to recognize the industry's most effective book covers; those that best connect design components to their intended consumer.

Presented annually as an education program for ECPA members, the ECPA | dp Book Cover Award developed out of the 2006 RISC|AmeriScan study commissioned by Dickinson Press and conducted by Marshall Marketing, to help Christian publishers develop and design more on-target products. Subsequent research was performed in 2008 and 2010 and the program's judging criteria is continually updated with new consumer findings.

Overall, RISC|AmeriScan provides a vision of the forces at work in society and how they relate to consumer attitudes and behavior. RISC|AmeriScan is constructed from annual national probability samples of 2,000 to 3,000 people, regional and local surveys, focus groups, and behavioral studies. What makes RISC|AmeriScan unique is that the research can be used to identify:

  • Ten "territories" or unique consumer profiles in order to target a specific book reading audience
  • What seemingly disparate book reading markets have in common in order to cast as broad a sales and marketing net as possible
  • Group affinities, by viewing "quadrants" that spot what like book audiences have in common relative to design and content preferences

Based on these studies the respondents are statistically projected into a two-dimensional space according to two-principle axis. The first axis, which points north to south, defines the greatest variance between respondents; their acceptance of change (Exploration) or their resistance to change (Stability).

The second axis, which points east to west, defines the second greatest variance among respondents; whether they possess a pleasure and/or individualistic orientation (Pleasure) or whether they are more ethical and community-oriented (Ethics).

The application of the North/South and East/West axis creates four book buyer "quadrants":

Inclusives [upper left] favor community, but also change and progress. They are interested in diversity, health and well-being, ecology, cultural experiences and style. Inclusives favor bright colors, bold fonts, optimistic images, and prefer a sense of order.

Pioneers [upper right] favor individualism, achievement and progress. They are the early adopters of just virtually everything. They love to test, experiment, and to take risks. Pioneers prefer intense images, highly stylized designs, innuendo, the exotic, the unique and symbolism.

Loyalists [lower left] favor community, and status quo. They value rules, authority figures, routine, and stability. They prefer subdued images, simple designs with natural colors, and a straight forward message.                                                                 

Individualists [lower right] are motivated by self-expression, fun, rewards, status and the status quo. They prefer easily digestible entertainment, mockery, and non-conformity. Individualists enjoy images of people having fun, images that are free-form or unique and images of materialism and/or consumption.





















Rick Hamm
ECPA | dp Book Cover Award Judging Manager
RISC|Ameriscan Research Director

Rick Hamm is Director of RISC|AmeriScan Research (Research Institute for Social Change) at Marshall Marketing, and has been with the company since 1990. He has worked with RISC|AmeriScan since the company’s first use of the system in 1996.  Marshall Marketing, in Pittsburgh, Penn., was founded in 1985, does survey work and marketing consulting with a variety of national and local-market clients, and currently conducts more than 75,000 consumer interviews annually.

The ECPA | dp Book Cover Award is sponsored by Dickinson Press.

Dickinson Press, Inc. [DP] is a well established and innovative book manufacturer specializing in trade soft and hard cover books, Bibles, New Testaments, dictionaries and educational workbooks. DP also specializes in lightweight papers and compact or mini books.  In August of 2010, Dickinson Press along with STL Distribution and Snowfall Press, announced an alliance that places an on-demand book making facility within the STL Distribution center. The alliance combines Dickinson's 125 years of printing expertise with Snowfall Press' next generation integrated printing software. DP purchased and manges the fully-automated digital book making and binding operation. The operation enables complete automation from the uploading of files, to pre-flighting the files, to printing, binding and shipping. The alliance provides significant benefits to publishers and retailers alike. Out-of-stock books, niche titles, and out of print books are readily available for same day turn-around of orders. It is DP’s vision to become the leading provider of unique, high quality services to Christian book marketers.

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