At PubWest 2009

Dominique Raccah referred to it as, “Publishing authors, not books.”  She talked about the fundamental shift that is taking place from being traditional book publishers to going into an entrepreneurial space.  The crowd listened with great intent to hear something that would create a stir for their business.  What they heard, in the end, was far from that.

Todd McClincey

Sales Manager, MPS North America

They heard, take what you do best, and become the best at it, and make people listen.

It, in the end, was more of the same that has been coming from the larger publishing universe.  If you are established as a publisher, and have a dominant area of content, you are going to be able to make the content work for you in multiple different platforms.  However, the lingering question is what happens when you are a publisher that doesn’t have a dominant category of content – then what?

That is the intrinsic nature of the client that we serve.  If we don’t know what they want, then we will never be able to build what they want, and never expand to what they want.  Ideally, I think the solution lies somewhere between what Dominique has suggested and the “long-tail” argument.  Namely, you don’t necessarily have to have the most popular content, as much as the most popular audience.  If you can turn the passive book reader into an active commentator, then you have created a community that will sell as an annuity over and over again.

However, to Dominique’s credit, she has shown that she can make what she is doing, work.  The feedback I have received from some publishers at the conference, though, is so now what?

 This article first appeared on on 13th November 2009 – click here to see the original article


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