Other Cool Blogs: Magical Words 7/2/2010

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To a Bookstore We Go

Back in 2010, Stuart Jaffe wrote a great blog for Magical Words on how to use a visit to the bookstore to understand the publishing industry and marketing strategy by the publishers and the bookstores. Lots of great questions – I recommend to cut and paste and save. The full blog is here under the title Publishing – Learning at the Bookstore: http://www.magicalwords.net/really-i-mean-it/publishing-learning-at-the-bookstore/

The problem of implementing this strategy in 2019 is finding a bookstore. (sad face)

Instead, go to various eBook locations and see what they are doing in your genre section (and nearby sections). How are “also reads” being linked, do they show series for both novels and novellas, what shows up on your recommends when you first log in, etc? See if you can get a friend or even con someone at a Starbucks to help you do the research and set up your laptops side-by-side and see what different things show up. Can you get someone of a different gender, melanin level, or income strata to help you? What book recommends show up in your Facebook feed or social media sites and do they impact yours (and those helping you) purchases? 

Ask around, how does the casual reader find information versus a veracious reader versus someone connected to the industry?

Does being city or suburbia affect what they look at – and how their market share is reached?

As a writer, editor, or someone in the industry, you might want to do this exercise every year or two – since technology is changing that fast.

WRITING EXERCISE: Do a Market search and get a general feel. Next, guess based on the past, what changes you think you will see in two years? What techniques are equivalent to “book cover out” and “end display” within a bookstore and within eBook book websites, and what do you think they will become? Record your findings and guesses somewhere so you can track changes over time. Repeat in 2021.