Monday, June 14, 2010

Own the Audience

Dude. Y'all. This article here: it blew my mind. I was all yeah. That.

He's talking about the direction the publishing industry is headed (which is sooooo much nicer than the Publishing is Dead! mantra so many people are screaming in apocalyptic hysteria). Essentially the point is that publishers need to consider that their value moving forward into a digital age will be in the audiences they command ("eyes they own") rather than the content they own.

From an author's perspective this is fascinating stuff, because it takes the publishers role from being one of gatekeeper you have to get past to get your words to the reading public (which, let's face it, is less and less the case as self-publishing becomes a more viable option through digitization) and moves it into the realm of a facilitator who helps the right audience for your work find your book. If you think of the publisher as owning the audience and you own the content, then the partnership between author and publisher takes on a whole new dimension.

And it shifts the publisher's marketing goals toward attracting a loyal audience rather than throwing everything they have behind a few books they hope will be best sellers. Publishers as brand names makes so much more sense to me than authors branding themselves. It seems like a natural evolution into the digital world.

Interesting stuff, boys and girls. Very interesting stuff.

1 comment:

Vivant said...

Fascinating. Like most paradigm shifts, it sounds rather obvious once someone states it clearly.