Summer Issue of Book Business is All About Meeting Readers Where They Are
The Summer Issue of Book Business showcases leaders who are pushing the limits of how books can be created and shared in order to better serve readers and meet them where they are. The idea of “meeting readers where they are” takes a number of forms in this issue but it seems to coalesce around two main concepts. The first is that publishers need to present their titles and authors on the platforms and devices that readers use most, including social streams, mobile-optimized sites, and the blogosphere. The second idea is that it’s not enough to put a book in front of a consumer to sell it; publishers must present a solution to a consumer’s problem. The problem could be as simple as, “What’s a good beach read?” or as complex as, “How can I personalize my learning experience?" -- a question explored by one of the innovators in this issue.
In an era where brick-and-mortar bookstores continue to struggle and print sales are in decline, fresh marketing and production strategies are crucial to keep consumers reading. The thinkers in this issue are experimenting with new avenues to reach consumers and testing new ways to demonstrate the value of their titles.
Penguin Random House, for example, is tackling the challenge of discoverability though the creation of original content on its relaunched and now mobile-optimized website. SVP and director of consumer marketing Amanda Close shares the vision behind this project in the issue's Corner Office. Close speaks to the power of developing a media hub, through original blogs, tweets, and author interviews, that engages readers and compels them to return to discover their next book.
In fact, the word “mobile” fills nearly every article in this issue because it has become an increasingly important platform that publishers must play on in order to connect with new readers. Technologists are tirelessly working to integrate the book discovery and reading experience with mobile devices. Startups like Querium help publishers adapt static educational ebooks into interactive, mobile-friendly texts that identify the concepts students need to study most. Another startup, YaBeam, wants to integrate book discovery with smartphones, using geolocation beacons. The beacons allow publishers to engage with consumers at the right place and at the perfect moment, writes YaBeam co-founder Ron Tomich in his column.
It’s not easy to compete with Instagram or Clash of Clans, but we hope the technology and strategic thinking discussed in this issue will help you find new ways to connect with readers in an increasingly crowded entertainment and information space. And we’d love to learn where your company has already found success. Share your stories with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ellen Harvey is a freelance writer and editor who covers the latest technologies and strategies reshaping the publishing landscape. She previously served as the Senior Editor at Publishing Executive and Book Business.