A Literatum Microsite

Active Publishing Drives Publication Sales—and Public Awareness


American Psychiatric Association Publishing is the world’s premier publisher of books, journals, and multimedia on psychiatry, mental health, and behavioral science. Its publications include the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fifth edition (DSM-5), the flagship journal American Journal of Psychiatry, and the biweekly newspaper Psychiatric News


Tragic mass shootings that capture headlines reinforce the mistaken belief that people with mental illness are violent and responsible for much of the gun violence in the United States. The publication of Gun Violence and Mental Illness, by Liza H. Gold, M.D., and Robert I. Simon, M.D., offered an opportunity for the Press to develop a widely accessible, topic-specific website that would showcase an objective, evidence-based review of the intersection between gun violence and mental illness.


Publisher staff used the tools already available in Literatum, their online publishing platform, to quickly construct a microsite linked from their website PsychiatryOnline. The new site brings together articles, books, videos, and the latest news and opinions related to gun violence and mental health.

Content was curated using an existing tag set and Literatum’s content-bundling capability. The site was designed and built in just a few days using Page Builder, Literatum’s user-friendly tool for constructing and managing a website’s interface and user experience. Built directly into the platform, Page Builder’s customizable drag-and-drop widgets enabled the site’s creation without assistance from web developers or additional training.

Literatum’s flexible licensing models allowed subscription journal content to be offered free of charge exclusively on the microsite. Pertinent and compelling content is highlighted in a carousel display, and integrated articles and news keep readers up to date. Paid advertising and banners promoting various publications were inserted using Page Builder’s advertising placeholder widget.

The microsite’s book, journal, and news content highlight the issues surrounding the relationship between firearm deaths and mental illness, conveniently bringing together topical content from disparate sources. The authors are a roster of leaders in the fields of mental health, public health, and public policy.  

The objectives of the microsite include:

  • Educating the public and dispelling the myths in the national dialogue on gun violence and mental illness
  • Attracting new readers who would not otherwise visit the Press’s website
  • Increasing website traffic, readership, and subscriptions
  • Promoting publications

The microsite itself is part of an Active Publishing strategy that leverages Literatum to improve the publisher’s ability to effectively market its content, products, and brand. By employing automation tools to curate content and market it via flexible sales and subscription models, the website engages and retains readers and encourages their frequent return.

Data collection and targeting methodologies

The microsite allows publisher staff to request and collect information about visitors, including their subscribing institution, the content they access, and their site behavior, for possible use in targeted marketing and to inform new product development. Publisher-defined Smart Groups—a unique Literatum feature that segments users with like characteristics and site behavior into groups—are used to present targeted content and advertisements that reflect users’ interests.

For example, publisher staff used a Smart Group to offer non-subscribing users free access to microsite content in exchange for providing their name, email address, and institution. Publisher staff will use this information to strategically tailor additional marketing initiatives and offers


The new microsite went live in June 2016, to coincide with Literatum’s most recent software release, whose new features it leveraged. Appealing to new readers and engaging current subscribers with targeted content is expected to boost site traffic, book sales, and online advertising. Showcasing its expertise on gun violence and mental illness, the microsite will further the publisher’s reputation as a thought leader and promote its authors as experts on gun violence and mental health.

Next Steps

Creating the microsite allowed the publisher staff to better brand its products and authors—and they anticipate creating more topic-driven microsites responsive to future breaking news events or recent publications. Reports on site traffic, user behavior, and referring sites will inform content strategy, targeted marketing campaigns, ad sales tactics, and new product development.

Using Literatum’s internal SEO capabilities in concert with new content that is updated in real time, repackaged, and offered as custom products via various business models, American Psychiatric Association Publishing expects to continue to attract new audiences, penetrate new market sectors, broaden sponsorships, and increase subscription and ad revenue.

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