It’s not enough, we’ve been saying, that publishers start aping the blog model in an attempt to connect with today’s audiences by announcing their new releases in a trendy way—publishers who use blogs are going to have to bring the same levels of passion and authenticity as the readers and authors who are already flourishing in the blogosphere. HarperStudio has shown several signs of getting that since launching their 26th Story blog last month, and over the weekend publisher Bob Miller started moving the conversation about the future of the book industry forward by going straight to the major players and asking them what they think.
Borders CEO George Jones was the first to respond to Miller’s inquiries, and while he admitted that “our business is impacted by the overall economic environment and by industry trends,” Jones also said he wasn’t too worried about the market drying up: “Itâ€™s true that the format books take may change over time and evolve, and the places where people buy books and how they access them have changed over time and will change further, but books themselves will always be part of our culture and our world in my opinion.”
“It is not the book business itself that is lacking,” Jones argued, “but it is the business model that has been in place for decades and is broken. The entire lack of focus in the industry on inventory productivity has put us all in a very challenging situation… [I]t is the job of the publisher and retailer TOGETHER to realistically assess sell thru and take on only those titles and quantities we both think will perform to the degree we need them to.” The entire post is worth reading for the details of Jones’s thinking, and it will be interesting to see who else takes Miller up on his questions…
(photo: USA Today)