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The Mango Media staff left to right: Hugo Villabona, Morgane Leoni, Hannah Paulsen, Natasha V., Elina Diaz, Chris McKenney (Maria Gil/SFNS)
The Mango Media staff left to right: Hugo Villabona, Morgane Leoni, Hannah Paulsen, Natasha V., Elina Diaz, Chris McKenney (Maria Gil/SFNS)

Mango Media blazing new trails in book publishing

A three-year-old Miami-based publishing company is getting its books on the Amazon Best Sellers list, including one that made the list this October.

On the third floor of a white four-story building on 2850 Douglas Rd. in Coral Gables lies a little publishing company that is trying to change the rules of an old industry.

The president and CEO of Mango Media, Chris McKenney, said his company publishes several non-fiction and fiction books a month and frequently sees those books rank on the Amazon Best Seller list in their respective categories.

By Maria Gil
South Florida News Service
@SFNS_NewsInstagram• Facebook 

The company has had over 14 best sellers on Amazon.

Publishing companies normally use the same formula of distribution: where the publisher makes the book, sells it to bookstores and the bookstores then sell it to consumers. At Mango Media, the bookstores are eliminated from the equation and they deal with the consumer directly.

“Mango [Media] changed the model,” said McKenney.

According to a report from Nielsen Book Research, in 2015 about 857 million books were sold in the U.S., and 40 percent of them sold were through retailers like Amazon. This number does not include most ebooks.

Since a majority of consumers spend a lot of time online, it has changed how they shop, said McKenney.

Hugo Villabona, an associate editor at Mango Media, said big publishing houses continue to follow the old formula because of “groupthink.”

“[They] are not willing to break the establishment,” he said.

These companies, often in New York, strive to get their books on The New York Times Best Sellers list, a ranking considered the industry standard.

According to the New York Times, the books that appear on the NYT list are ranked based on weekly sales, which are reported by various NYT-approved vendors from diverse selling locations across the U.S. such as bookstores, and newsstands.

One of Mango Media’s most recent bestsellers was “Coyote Peterson’s Brave Adventure: Wild Animals in a Wild World.” It was number one in juvenile nonfiction on Amazon but did not appear on the New York Times Best Sellers list.

Another Mango Media bestseller was “The ABC’s of LGBT+” by Ashley Mardell, which has been an LGBT bestseller on Amazon for almost a year.

McKenney declined to share details of his company’s marketing and selling “secret sauce” other than it being done exclusively online and via social media.

Marketing and Sales Coordinator Hannah Paulsen said that one of the key elements for the success of their books is that they are progressive, both in content and their method of publishing.

“While most of it might be nonfiction, it’s not one specific genre,” said Paulsen.

Some of the books that Mango Media published in October include:

  • “The Ultimate Guide for Gay Dads” by Eric Rosswood
  • “The Incredible Power of Inspiration” by Jenifer Zetlan
  • “Answers to Questions You’ve Never Asked” by Joseph Pisenti
  • “Monster: The Early Life of Mary Shelley” by Mark Arnold
  • “The Tarleton Murders” by Breck England


FOR THE RECORD: An earlier version of this story misspelled the name of Mango Media CEO Chris McKenney.

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