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Reader Creation & Development

Nobody should have a greater vested interest in developing readers than do publishers and proprietors of books, newspapers, and magazines. Nobody. No readers = no business. That simple.

Ironically, publishers don’t typically invest in developing readers.  They’re too busy selling books.

Where the ability to read was once the proudly worn badge of citizenship passed from generation to generation, America now graduates kids less educated than their parents.  Where reading was once a primary form of entertainment (pre-TV, for instance), in the souls of our rising generations reading gratifies much less than button-activated possibilities.  For growing numbers of Americans, reading is now just for functioning in society and a means to click a link, but otherwise something Grandma does.

For publishers, this bleak scenario is a long-term business problem.

And the trend won’t be reversed unless two things happen:

  • One, reading must again become fashionable–not merely essential.
  • Two, publishers must make it so–the days of someone else leading the charge are gone.  Long gone.

So for publishers serious about Reader Creation and Development (RC&D), I have the following preposterous, somewhat counter-intuitive suggestions.  Suspend your disbelief and swallow your objections–these ideas can be done, and they will work.

Eliminate book departments

Link here for #1

hook up with hollywood

make reading sexy

hip-ify the insides

bookcase business

never tell the whole story

merchandize for the real destinations

never do a book signing

Turn BookTV over to MTV

make librarians your best customers

Notice I did NOT say: make books people want to read.  That’s the way it used to be.

More links:

Reader Creation & Development: What it Will Take

Reader Creation & Development: More of What it Will Take

Fish Food for Thought

Publishing’s Conventional Assumptions Fail

readers vs. non-readersreader pie


© David P. Leach and Consequential Value, 2008

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