Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Could Publishing Have Its Own YouTube Awards?

This past month YouTube held its own music awards, the first of its kind.  Makes sense.  Video and music are synonymous.  Everything is migrating online, so why not an awards show?  How about having an online awards show for books?

It would be great to spotlight the industry. You can take an existing award ceremony and televise it online.  You could intersperse the award-giving moments with interviews, readings, and commentary on trends, publishing history, and sales facts.

Who would host the show?  An author of note would have a fan following and may work well.  A publisher would seem commercial.  A literary agent would seem biased.  A book reviewer would be unknown to most.  Have any suggestions?

Finally, Books Are Valued!
Sure you might be selling your ebook for a buck-ninety-nine but some books are selling like Picassos.

The Bay Psalm Book, recognized as the first book printed in English in the New World, back in 1640, is being auctioned in a few days and is expected to fetch at least 15 million dollars.  It will shatter the record of 11.54 million dollars paid three years ago for John James Audubon’s The Birds of America.

A copy of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales was auctioned for $7.5 million in 1998, and $6.16 million was pain in 2001 for Shakespeare’s First Folio.

What is your book going to be worth?

Fifty Shades Is The Most Abandoned Book
According to Adweek, over 22,000 books were left behind in Travelodge last year.  If you multiply that over the major hotel chains, there must be hundreds of thousands of books left in rooms long after patrons have stayed there.

Fifty Shades Freed was the most common book left on the bed sheets of Travelodge.  But why would people leave behind a book they presumably wanted to read while on vacation?

The three most popular reasons for abandoning books were given as:

1.      Finished reading it and left it for others
2.      Lost or forgot it
3.      Got bored with it

Which Brands Changed The World?
Adweek ran a story in its Nov. 18 issue called, “10 Brands That Changed the World.” It made me think that there must be 100 brands that changed our lives – how can you stop at 10?

Adweek identified brands that “don’t merely influence our spending habits – they determine who we are.”

Still, how do you name VISA but not AMEX or even Master Card? You have WalMart, but why not Kmart or Target? It has Facebook, but not Twitter, YouTube, or Google.

Starbucks makes sense, but wouldn’t Dunkin’ Donuts dispute that? The list lacks so many industries – automobile, airplane, furniture, banking, travel – that it really becomes a useless list.

It named HBO but not Showtime? It has McDonald’s, but is that the only brand worth mentioning when it comes to food? It lists the iPhone, instead of naming Apple, which is the real brand. Viagra is on here but I don’t think it belongs on the list.

Like any list, people will dispute:
·         Who made the list
·         Who didn’t make the list
·         The criteria used to determine the list members
      Bias of those who put this together.
It seems so many things – or brands – influence us. Sports have strong brands – by team, by league, by player. Universities have strong brands. So do some toys, tech gadgets, media properties, and entertainment venues. So many museums, historical monuments, and city landmarks have strong brands. If you think about it, you could name hundreds of brands that mean something to you.

Are there author brands or publishing brands of note? Absolutely. There are numerous franchise book series that get talked about, make bestseller lists, get adapted into movies or translated into other languages. But Adweek didn’t name a single writer or publishing house as being a brand that changed the world.

Maybe brands related to books will grow in stature, but even if they don’t, it is clear that consumers buy, in part, based on a brand. Once something becomes a bestseller, it becomes even more valuable. When your brand is not known it’s as if you don’t have a birth certificate. Everyone needs an identity.

Which brand do you think changed the world?


Here is my 2014 Book Marketing & Publicity Toolkit: Based on 20+ years in publishing --

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, Media Connect, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2013

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