Ode to change
Over at Booksquare, a thoughtful publishing industry blog, Kassia Krozser penned Competing for Eyeballs, in which she exhorted publishing companies to change the way they (we) reach readers. (Patience, Kassia — you can sometimes still hear the clack of typewriters as you walk down the halls of a publishing house.) And publishing consultant and Cursor founder Richard Nash posted about the evolution of independent bookstores.
As a book publicist, my role is to reach readers through venues like the media (or bookstores), so these are issues that directly or indirectly affect what I do. Of course, word of mouth always has and continues to win over new readers, but while the “word” has not changed, the “mouth” has — now, people are as likely to hear about books from Twitter and GoodReads as from friends and family (or their local newspaper).
For many readers, books are also popularized by movies, as Phenix & Phenix Literary Publicity points out. (These are called “movie tie ins” in publishing speak.) These aren’t new, of course, but it seems like there have been more movies based on books in recent years.
The point is, readers, as Kassia said, are moving at the speed of light (Exhibit A, the Networked Book). And that means that publishers need to, well, move.
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