e-books

Comments -“War and Peace” on the subway: How your iPhone is saving literature. Salon

Interesting article on how e-book market is changing. Posted comments discussing some entrepreneurship and strategy insights here

check out Salon article at

http://www.salon.com/2014/05/14/war_and_peace_on_the_

subway_how_your_iphone_is_saving_literature/

Here is a copy of my posted comments…

Interesting article. From an entrepreneurial perspective, maybe we are seeing a new opportunity emerging here. Authors and publishers think “chapters”. Why? Because we always did it that way. Write a book, say 40,000 words. Maybe 2,000 words for front and back copy so we have about 38,000 words book content. Assume you plan to have 15 chapters, each chapter will have 2,533 words. Assuming about 250 words/page, each chapter will be about 10 pages and total page count will be about 160 pages- a reasonable book structure.

But the market may be sending us a message. Forget “chapters” which are ” product driven” and arbitrary based on the above calculation.

Maybe we should consider a “market driven” strategy to address the growing market for “snippet of information readers” who are using Smartphones. Suppose we define a new book structure whereby books are divided into ” bite size” information packets- maybe call each of these “brevis”, Latin for tiny. And we set the length of each brevis at what a reader can read in say 4 minutes, maybe 1,000 words, and that is standardized. We create a new class of books structured in brevis, not chapters, which meets market needs.

I am not sure I will see a “brevis” book soon, but I shared the above to make several points. First, recognize the difference between product or technology driven strategy vs. market driven. When markets send messages on issue and opportunities, smart players listen and respond quickly. E-books changed the book industry- Barnes and Noble responded; Borders became a business school case study.

Secondly, thinking “counterintuitively” is an important skill to develop. Thinking Intuitively, you would expect readers would use e-readers not smartphones- larger, easier to read screens, and other features provide advantages. So what we are seeing here is counterintuitive, not what we would expect. Identifying and analyzing the “How’s and Whys” here is a powerful skill worth honing. Finally, be prepared to fail. I am not sure the “brevis” book will be a success but going through the planning process, understanding the market nuances, understanding what are user needs today and how are they changing- these are the real benefits. At the time of the D-Day invasion, a turning point in World War II, General Dwight D. Eisenhower commented that ” The Planning Process is Everything; The Plan is Nothing”. I use this philosophy often and firmly agree- great things can be accomplished through detailed planning, exploring “what-ifs”, and postulating market driven business strategies that oftentimes can shake up markets or create new ones. There will be failures but many benefits will also be realized.

So I will continue to think about the Brevis book, get feedback and criticism ( probably lots of it) from colleagues and friends, which will reshape my thinking I am sure. That is how we make progress.
Paul B. Silverman writes on entrepreneurship and management topics. He serves as Adjunct Professor in the R.H.Smith School of Business at the University Maryland Blog. www.paulbsilverman.com. Follow @ globalbizmentor

 

 

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HOW BOOK MARKETING/PROMOTION DRIVES CLIENT BUSINESS AND SELLS PRINT BOOKS

BOOK SIGNING AND MEET THE AUTHOR AND  EVENT AT  EXPO EAST CONFERENCE  ATLANTIC CITY : HOW BOOK  MARKETING/PROMOTION DRIVES CLIENT BUSINESS AND SELLS PRINT BOOKS

I was invited to do a book signing and “Meet the Author” event June 5th at the Expo East promotions expo in Atlantic City, NJ. for my first book in the   “Worm on a Chopstick” series,   Understanding Today’s Entrepreneurial Age: Directions, Strategies, Management Perspectives, and discuss my second book planned for release in late 2012.

One of the largest promotions/marketing conferences, the trade-only event attracts major corporate buyers, sales reps, promotion/marketing companies, ad agencies, and others.  Today we see explosive growth of  e-books which is driving market demand, and also see the demise of traditional ‘brick and mortar’ bookstores.

However, before we writeoff the traditional print book market, it is clear to me based on discussions at this event and elsewhere, that print books are supporting many creative marketing and promotion initiatives to create new markets, promote major lines of business, and sell books in large quantities. While we may typically think about print books sold in bookstores, airport kiosks, via Amazon or other mail order channels, the following are some of the marketing and promotion channels I have discussed now being used to support business and sell books:

  • Major bank develops a “Small Business Corporate Library’ to offer selected clients to strengthen their relationship with small business customers and reinforce their brand
  • Pharmaceutical firms integrate nutritional health and wellness programs with one or more selected books
  • Insurance companies use selected ‘branded’ planning/lifestyle texts to create new educational programs for their clients
  • Emergency services (local police and fire) ‘private label’ educational publications for children to provide safety education
  • State governors add ‘tip-in’ pages in a customized version of a business/entrepreneurship or other book to support economic development and attract businesses to the region (“tip-in” pages are custom pages inserted upfront into print books)

All of the above are driven by a basic need – companies want to attract, educate and strengthen relationships with customers. Traditionally, you may have received an imprinted calendar, pen or notepad from your favorite bank, and probably still will, but the above are some of the many new creative and exciting marketing/promotion activities we see emerging now. Given today’s intense global competition, I expect these initiatives to accelerate and others to emerge also linking social media, print books, and e books- we are seeing major new, exciting market opportunities developing here.

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