September 06, 2012

Books, Bookstores, Catalogs

The parallels between books, bookstores, and catalogs are significant.

So take fifty minutes this weekend, and watch this session that was recently broadcast on BookTV, titled "The Future of the Book and Bookstore".

This is fifty minutes of absolutely riveting television, seriously!  Boring setting, riveting topic.

Look at the average age of the panelists who are defending the status quo (Judy).

Look at the average age of the folks in the audience (Judy).

Listen to the questions and comments of audience members.

Listen to some of the anger toward Amazon; eBooks and Kindle and newer technology.

Listen to the talk about how the author has to do publicity so that the agents/publishers can continue to make money off of the author (happened to me ... major publisher approached me to write a book, asked me to draft an outline for them, then told me that my 'platform' was too small too few followers to promote my content to so that they could make money ... so instead I make thousands a year selling my self-published books via Amazon ... and then you hear some on the panel criticize self-publishing via Amazon, so isn't that interesting?)

Listen to the positive comments about paper, about touching, about discovery.

Listen to folks decry that money can't be made as easily in a digital format.

Think about how all of these folks want to continue to profit off of the author, not really addressing what is best for the author, but instead, what is best for them.

Identify the many ways this panel describes how the status quo can compete against a digital revolution in books.

Now, take a few minutes, and consider your plight in retail or catalog marketing.  Do you use the same arguments that are used in this discussion?  How do your arguments stand up, after hearing a comparable argument in a comparable industry?  How is your industry similar or different to the book industry?

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