Sunday, August 2, 2009

The Future of Publishing

You know, for an awful long time, the business of publishing has boiled down to taking a book, throwing it on a shelf in a bookstore, and hoping readers will find it, and buy it.

Oh sure, there are also marketing campaigns, book tours, interviews and reviews that help out, but for the most part publishers relied on third parties to get people to buy their books. And the system worked, until it didn't, and instead of changing, most publishers seem to just keep on like nothing has happened.

Well one publisher decided to buck that trend. What's more, when faced with the bleak harshness of the open market after their Arts Council funding was withdrawn, instead of laying down and dying an elegaic death, they performed an epic act of innovation, and have begun to thrive.

As The reports, "Independent poetry publisher Salt has raised enough money to get through the rest of 2009."

Instead of just chucking books on a store shelf, they made direct contact with their past customers. They reached out, got names, emails, and began their "Just One Book" campaign, where they urged people to buy one, just one, book. Not the same book, but just one book by them.

And it worked, by golly. Instead of relying on handouts and bemoaning the disinterest of the modern reader, and waiting for some media panjandrum to raise an approving eyebrow, they put boots up arses, stirred up some interest themselves, and to top it off are now diversifying into other genres.

Amazing, isn't it? What publishers can do when they use their heads?

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