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Speaking Directly to Readers

Apparently publishers realize they need to speak to readers through more than books.

Digital Book World and Forrester Research have found that a majority of publishers plan to invest more in acquiring data about readers. some  two-thirds of publishers plan to increase their investment in acquiring reader data. An analyst at Forrester said, “Knowing who readers are, what they like and what they want next requires building a base of demographic information.”

And according to the survey, almost two-thirds of publishers agreed with the statement, “To be successful, the publisher of the future must have a database of individual customers it can have a relationship with and even contact directly.”

Well, as any entrepreneurial author is aware, building a platform for your ideas and spreading your message allows you to know who your readers are. What’s more, you can continue to talk to them and refine your message as they provide feedback concerning your ideas, or even offer suggestions about how you can approach a topic.

But really, what publishers should be doing is working with their authors more as guides in helping them broaden their reach, rather than trying to jump into the social-networking pool and attempt to swim with readers. You can imagine a publishers rejecting book because it doesn’t align with what research is saying a reader wants. (Publishers reject a book for any number of reasons, such as saying a book doesn’t fit with its list or that an author’s previous books haven’t sold well enough, regardless of the quality of the book in question – this is likely to be just another excuse for saying no.)

No one knows what anyone wants, really – except to be transparent and honest and forthright. And authors who are working directly with their readers (with or without a publisher) know that well. Publishers are late to reader interaction, but at least they understand that the world has changed.

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One Response to “Speaking Directly to Readers”

  1. Anonymous March 1, 2012 at 1:20 am #

    Important message. Brilliantly simple. Know your audience, figure out what they like, and then write about it. 

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