Blogger: Janet Kobobel Grant
Location: Books & Such Main Office, Santa Rosa, Calif.
We all have seen publishing struggle this year through the loss of retail outlets, the economic downturn, and the onslaught of e-books and free online books. But I’d like to take a minute to give publishers a nod of approval for some creative ways of dealing with a fast-changing world.
Here are a few:
- Several publishers are realizing that, rather than just looking for authors with platforms, another approach is to look for authors who have the potential to sustain a platform. The publisher is then coming alongside those authors and helping to build the platform. The publishers are bringing to bear all their resources, including helping the author to create product that will build a brand. That means creating video curriculum and speaking venues to accompany a nonfiction book.
- Speakers bureaus. The major New York publishers have developed speakers bureaus for their authors that are, to everyone’s surprise, making money. Some authors are even making more through speaking engagements than through royalties.
- Social networking. A Twitter book club. Facebook book launch parties. Websites with interactive games (e.g. 39 Clues). Publishers are working to be creative and to engage readers in new ways. It’s the wave of the future, and publishers know it and are experimenting to see what works.
- New ways to sell. Symtio, which looks like a Starbucks gift card, is a method to buy a book for someone and deliver it with panache. The receiver then downloads the book as an e-book or an audio book. much as he would i-Tunes. Apparently this idea, developed by Zondervan Publishing, is catching on and doing well. We’re all for a new way to deliver books!
Have you spotted ways publishers are being innovative? The rest of us would love to hear more.