Chris Meadows has an excellent post just below this one. It’s entitled Publishers in danger of losing hearts and minds of readers.
Here are two paragraphs that need to be re-read:
And the publishers and authors are not exactly doing a good job connecting with consumers, either. Take the case of writer Douglas Preston, who denounced consumers’ reactions to the increase in pricing as denoting a sense of “entitlement” (and then backpedaled as fast as he could). Or consider that the first few announcements of Macmillan President John Sargent about the agency pricing imposition were aimed not at consumers but at other industry insiders. A number of publishing industry professionals, such as Brett Sandusky, are realizing that the industry needs to do a much better job of focusing on the general public, but this change seems to be slow in coming.
So, if publishers don’t want to see readers turn more and more toward libraries or piracy rather than purchases, they should perhaps start doing a better job of conveying to consumers why their books are worth the prices they’re charging. That includes providing error-free source files to the e-book stores, and fixing errors when consumers bring them to their attention. In this era of e-publishing, “because we say they are” is becoming an increasingly threadbare reason.
For the last two or three years at every conference I’ve gone to – Digital Book World, Tools of Change, Publishing Point, BookExpo America, etc. – I have offered publishers the ability to tell their side of the story here on TeleRead. I’ve made this offer to low, middle and high executive-level publishing personnel and guess what:
not one publisher has ever taken me up on it.
So I’ll make the offer again, this time in public.
I will gladly print articles written by publishers explaining “their side” of the story when it comes to pricing, quality, competitive problems, etc. Unfortunately, as I have said to many publishers in person, the rise of ebooks is making publishers and readers into an “us vs. them” scenario and this is to be greatly deplored.
Publishers have a chance to tell their story here without any editing or changes from me. Take advantage of it.