Thursday, November 02, 2006

Lifestyle Literature

As a general rule, anything written in The New York Times or The Wall Street Journal about the book publishing industry is bound to be inaccurate, inflated, incomplete, misleading, misguided, misinformed, conflated, contrived, circumspect, or just plain wrong. And often it is all or many of those things combined. However, today, Julie Bosman of The New York Times actually wrote something useful about the industry and it's search for new markets, something I've been talking about with friends and colleagues for a while and something many of us in marketing and sales have been working towards for a few years. And while she relies on some misleading examples (she says that Starbucks' support of Mitch Albom's For One More Day helped "propel it to the top of the [bestseller] lists," which is kind of like saying a bird flapping it's wings helps propel a hurricane -- it's an example that undermines the real point she's making), other examples she gives of books that are actually finding their niche markets outside of traditional bookstores are the genuine article. It's a small victory for The Times and Ms. Bosman in a much larger war of journalism that's out of touch with the business it purports to cover, but we shouldn't fail to recognize a good point at the few instances in which they are made.


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