Ebook Lending, Video
Alas, “reading might be everyone’s business,” but publishing is the business that’s being run by the inefficient and visionless who believe, over their expensive dinners, that they are master of the universe.
I’ve been struggling with a software program for the last 4 hours and I needed a good laugh. “Tell the publishers to give customers what they want.” Bwwhahahahaaha.
Publishers give you what THEY want.
The Oatmeal has a great comic/satire of the movie/television industry about trying to watch Game of Thrones:
Oh, that’s priceless!
(And so true….)
You can send a message to publishers, but odds are they won’t listen.
Karl can tell the publishers he wants an eBook. But they already know he wants them. It’s not a secret. The publishers don’t want to give Karl what he wants because they disagree that it is good business for them.
Perhaps someone should send them the oatmeal comics link as well, then.
That’s an idea. But they might actually know as much as we do about this stuff. They simply come to different conclusions about what’s best for their companies. It’s usually not a question of a lack of data. It’s a different interpretation of the data.
True, but I’d say that that difference lies not necessarily in interpretation of the data, but in world view.
I think we’ve all dealt with people at the top who have destroyed themselves by thinking they can simply declare a truth.
For instance — let’s say that the publishers who are ignoring Karl’s plea for library books have done the math and got all the (correct) data about library patrons, and have the numbers to prove that library patrons simply don’t buy enough books for them to care any more.
It’s arrogance, but hey, they can afford to do that. They’ve got the numbers to prove it.
What they don’t see is that the attitude that caused them to dismiss one trivial demographic is also causing them to treat other demographics the same way. And because they have dismissed these groups, they don’t bother to measure them — so they lose the key datapoint that these disgruntled demographics are now the majority.
This is really common in business. They have all the data to be “efficient” by going only after that 20 percent the Pareto principle says matters — and pretty soon they have shrunk their audience to 20 percent of THAT 20 percent. And because they have completely discounted the original 80 percent, their statistics still looks good.
The library audience, and the used book audience, used to be critical to publishers — it used to be a huge source of bread and butter money. But once they decided to focus on the big box retailers, they marginalized that audience in their own minds to a sliver of what it once was. They did it by making small choice after small choice.
They did this partly because they believed themselves to be the only game in town. For writers, maybe they were, but for readers, they weren’t.
Ironically, that audience didn’t shrink that much, it just went to alternative sources, that the publishers didn’t think mattered because those alternative sources weren’t revenue streams (i.e. used books and the internet).
But because they drove the audience to those sources, they DID matter. Not only did they pump up those other sources in such that new readers were attracted to them — and Amazon found it profitable to carry used books. Piracy sites abound. People know how to crack DRM and do it all the time (and even if Grandma doesn’t know how, her grandkids do and they routinely provide her with cds full of cracked files for her birthday.
Plus it’s more than economic: It was the same attitude which caused them to kill the midlist — which served an audience which could and did go for used books and libraries to get their fix.
They did this will full data in hand, but their world view — that they were in control — made them miss the key thing about the Pareto Principle. It’s recursive. And even if all the of the top quality audience keeps it’s quality (which it doesn’t) you LOSE 20 percent of your revenue with each iteration.
So yeah, they may know everything we have to tell them, but they still may never understand what’s happening. And that’s why Amazon is eating their lunch.
OK. Maybe Amazon will eat their lunch. So what?
LOL. I think the publishers in question have demonstrated that they care deeply about the issue of Amazon eating their lunch.
We’re beyond lunch–they’re worried about breakfast, second breakfast dinner and supper too.
*mutters darkly about wanting to give libraries her ebooks*
Now, if only Blio will get my novels, so I can mosey down to the local library and sidle up to ‘em and say, “Hey, I hear there’s some books by a local author you can get as ebooks…”
Stars know, I’d give ‘em an ebook for free, to use forever and ever till the pixels wear out, if I could!
Camille, great comment. Thanks!
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