Precious Cargo

Refreshingly Bitter And Twisted Observations On Life's Passing Parade.

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Location: Valley Village, California, United States

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Looking For Readers In All The Wrong Places

At Buzz, Balls & Hype, Josie Brown writes:

“The publishing industry has a different problem. According to a 2002 study on literature by the National Endowment of the Arts, only 46.7 percent of the 96 million adults over the age of 18 read literature! And, sadly, of those readers, only 37.6 percent are male.”

And maybe that’s part of the problem: the great majority of books aren’t positioned to prospective readers as viable, affordable entertainment.

Which brings us back to the topic of the 53.3 percent of all adults who don’t read literature: How can we reach them, so that they can see what they are missing?"

Somewhat over 40 million people read. If you or your publisher can't find an audience for your book within that large a group, who are predisposed to read, what makes you think that you'll ever persuade even one nonreader to look you over?

The focus on winning over nonreaders is misplaced. I've never heard of a successful writer complaining that he can't get enough readers from among the pool of 40 million to read his books.

The real problem rests with publishers. Publishing is the only industry which refuses to commit the resources needed to create a demand among the public for its products.

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