I found an interesting article on U.S. News. Publish or Panic: The credibility of books is in a million little pieces.
It is especially interesting to read of print publishers who are finding the internet continues to bite into their sales, but are finding new approaches that leverage the uniquenesses of the internet to actually enhance sales. I think there is important perspectives in here about how publishers are using complex, multi-level approaches to modern publishing. They talk about the “long tail of the internet”.
Their goal is to wag “the long tail”–a concept popularized in a widely read article by Chris Anderson, editor-in-chief of Wired.
When publishing executives invoke the long tail–and almost everyone interviewed for this article did–what they mean is that if you tote up enough small sales (especially via a low-cost, direct-to-consumer sales tool like the Internet), you can add up a big profit over time.
Oprah isn’t the only way to get readers; he relies on word of mouth (in person or online), pinning hopes on the long tail of the Internet, with interlinked blogs, online literary magazines, and reader- and writer-friendly chat rooms and E-communities. And the chief person he relies on to start the chain reaction is the author.
It’s interesting to see for-profit big-name publishers learning to use the various publishing media that we call the internet. Blogs, websites, online magazines, chat rooms, and e-communities, all working together to generate transactions, called sales.
We’re thinking of trying a similar “long tail of the internet” for outreach surrounding The DaVinci Code movie. We’re thinking of a combination of different media, all part of the “long tail of the internet”, to reach different people. Blogs, websites, evangelistic presentations, apologetics articles, podcasts, discussion, comments, PDF files. The goal is “transactions”, but in this case, it’s the transaction of the exchanged life.