Joel Harper

Creator, You on a Diet Workout

Prior to November 2006, Dr. Mehmet C. Oz and Dr. Michael F. Roizen were preparing to introduce America to the latest diet phenomenon and what would become two top selling companion products on Amazon.com – the No. 1 sales ranked book "You On a Diet: The Owner's Manual for Waist Management" and the No. 7 sales ranked DVD "You on a Diet Workout." Recognizing that consumers value and frequently purchase co-branded, mixed media products, the "You" doctors were looking for a way to enhance their waist management concept -- losing weight and waist -- with an accompanying workout DVD. The duo teamed with celebrity trainer Joel Harper who advised them on a practical workout-using your body as your gym that would shrink the waist to the ideal size without expensive gym memberships or equipment.

Harper was excited to leverage the recent success of the best selling book with a compelling DVD. Wisely anticipating along with the "You" doctors that a supplementary, co-branded product could strengthen sales for both titles, Harper also realized that Amazon.com's automated discovery and recommendation features would direct interested Amazon.com customers to detailed pages about each of the related products, helping to further generate interest in both the DVD and book.

To meet the expected demand for his DVD, Harper turned to CreateSpace, a wholly owned subsidiary of Amazon.com, Inc. The CreateSpace DVD on Demand program produces discs as customers order, so no pre-built inventory is required. This gives content owners like Harper the ability to reach millions of potential customers on Amazon.com without the high up-front costs of manufacturing, order fulfillment, and distribution.

"I needed a company that could quickly respond to my customer's orders and the inventory-free distribution model from CreateSpace was the perfect, logical no-hassle solution," said Harper. "Since all DVDs are produced on demand, my title never goes out of stock, which makes order fulfillment and distribution really fast and easy when sales spike," said Harper.

And spike they did. Shortly after the "You On a Diet" book and DVD workout were released, the "You" doctors made a debut appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show. Pairing Harper's DVD with the "You On a Diet" greatly benefited both products, with the sales of each going through the roof. Harper sold thousands of DVD's a week, landing his "You" title at No. 7 on Amazon.com's DVD Top Sellers list while the book skyrocketed to No. 1 on Amazon.com's Books Top Sellers list.

"Working with Amazon and CreateSpace has improved my company's bottom line. The power of Amazon.com's search and recommendation features to promote related products, coupled with the distribution burden CreateSpace alleviated from my business, allows me to focus on my passion of creating new lifestyle DVDs to improve overall health and wellbeing. They really understand the concept of teamwork," continued Harper.

The overwhelming success of Harper's first DVD has not only convinced him that the on demand model is a viable and profitable self-distribution model, but it's also proven to him and the "You" doctors that developing and co-marketing companion products to consumers can be critical to the success of all products. To prove the point, their latest joint venture is another successful book and DVD compilation that didn't stray too far from their "You" roots. "The Dorm Room Diet: The 8-Step Program for Creating a Healthy Lifestyle Plan That Really Works" was written and conceived by Daphne Oz, daughter of Dr. Mehmet C.Oz, with Harper once again developing the companion workout DVD and distributing it through CreateSpace DVD on Demand.

Harper concluded, "The CreateSpace DVD on Demand service is terrific. I can't wait to use it again and again."

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