Marketing

Books overload

Go Read This | Marketing will replace editorial as the driving force behind publishing houses

Great piece by Mike Shatzkin:

While it is probably still true that picking the “right books” is the single most critical set of decisions influencing the success of publishers, it is increasingly true that a house’s ability to get those books depends on their ability to market them. As the distribution network for print shrinks, the ebook distribution network tends to rely on pull at least as much as on push. The retailers of ebooks want every book they can get in their store — there is no “cost” of inventory like there is with physical — so the initiative to connect between publisher and retailer comes from both directions now. That means the large sales force as a differentiator in distribution clout is not nearly as powerful as it was. Being able to market books better is what a house increasingly finds itself compelled to claim it can do.

via Marketing will replace editorial as the driving force behind publishing houses – The Shatzkin Files.

Go Read This | If you’re in marketing, kill yourself now | FutureBook

Snarky and brilliant piece on discoverability from Chris McVeigh over at FutureBook:

Discoverability is a problem for publishers precisely because it’s NOT a problem for readers. There are so many books, so many places to buy them, so many routes to the checkout, so many subtle nudges towards choosing a title – the fact is, what remains is that publishers need to find some way of getting their products in front of potential customers.

The problem with the discoverability debate is that it’s often been framed the wrong way around. The real discoverability problem for publishers is how to they can discover their audience, not the other way around.

via If you’re in marketing, kill yourself now | FutureBook.

At Open Road, Backlist Is the New Frontlist

In a further example of the ‘On the internet nobody knows your a backlist book‘ story:

The team closely tracks events and milestones that may present an opportunity—including some of the more offbeat occasions—and keeps a large white board in Open Road’s downtown offices to track potential openings. Chou recalled one such offbeat milestone: Geek Pride Day. Last year, Open Road used this occasion to push out a video with author James Gleick, who talked about being a science nerd. And in another video, bestselling fantasy author Barbara Hambly donned a pirate costume.

According to Chou, Open Road’s targeted videos in various outlets have a “significantly” better click-to-buy rate than traditional ads. Milestone marketing recently helped to propel Walter Lord’s classic bestseller, A Night to Remember, a definitive account of the Titanic’s last hours originally published in the 1950s, to #1 on the New York Times e-book nonfiction bestseller list, tied to the anniversary of the ship’s sinking.

via At Open Road, Backlist Is the New Frontlist.

Go Read This | ABC, Syfy and Best Buy? Retailer Launches Network – Advertising Age – News

This is totally the right move!

Yes, the retailer is now a publisher, rolling out a multichannel network filled with original editorial content spanning everything from how-to videos and gift guides to new-technology primers and behind-the-scenes looks at popular movies. The network, called Best Buy On, includes a website it bills as an “online magazine” and a huge in-store component with its content and ad messaging “broadcast” on screens across the store, including in the TV, mobile and portable entertainment sections.

via ABC, Syfy and Best Buy? Retailer Launches Network – Advertising Age – News.

Links of Interest (At Least to Me) 11/12/2009

Editor & Publisher and Kirkus Reviews to close. Frankly I find this a little strange. Even spinning them off might have been better, though survival on their own would have been pretty unlikely without serious reorganization and a fundamental rethinking of the business models.
Here

Canongate is profiled in the Wall Street Journal, that Jamie Byng has an eye for a book that can be packaged. It’d almost make ya jealous.
Here

Frankly, I don’t buy this Apple Tablet nonsense much. Apple cannot single-handedly change the industry, though they may try. In any case when Steve Jobs announces this on a stage somewhere, I’m sure I’ll want it, but until then, I shall waste no energy waiting or wanting.
Here

On the other hand, both Mike Shatzkin and Michael Hyatt have articles about new display systems for content that they claim will change the book world as we know it. I think both are right that change is coming but I have more sympathy with the Sports Illustrated demo video on Michael Hyatt’s post. After all that looks like a faster webpage with some extra features rather than something new. Webpages are the answer and so putting the web in every hand you can is the way forward for publishers and makes more sense than creating new, confusing and unnecessary formats. The trick is to make the customer pay for access to your content, not find a fancy way to display it.