Over 200 million Americans did not watch the Super Bowl this year. It’s hard to believe that no more than a third of the country is ever fixated on any one thing at any time.
We know with books that even runaway bestsellers are not read by well over 95% of the country.
Popular TV shows that draw 20 million viewers missed 300 million others.
Movies that do $300 million at the box office may have been seen by 25-30 million in theaters, leaving 290 million out in the cold.
Magazines that have readerships of three to four million or the biggest daily newspapers that have a circulation of two million are unread by 99% of America.
Online, even when some video gets 50 million views, chances are a lot of it is repeat views but even if every view represented a person and if all were Americans (they’re not), then more than five-sixths of the country never saw it.
All of this shows what a diverse, fractured, and disunified country we really are when it comes to our cultural arts, sports, politics, news, and faith.
What surprises me is if you get as many as 115 million people to watch an event like the Patriots-Seahawks battle – and the hyped ads and Katy Perry halftime show, why didn’t that number swell even more? If so many people say they are watching the Super Bowl, what turned so many others away from it – and what did they do instead?
I propose next year we throw a Book Bowl. No, it won’t be authors scrimmaging on the football field or literary agents lining up against publishers in a huge arena, but it could be something special.
Let’s take a day to celebrate books and to highlight the industry’s best authors, publishers, bookstores, libraries, literacy organizations, free-speech defenders, and book clubs.
What would some of the events look like? How would we turn this into a game or competition? Would advertisers run commercials – albeit for less than 4.5 million bucks for every 30 seconds – that showcase the same things you see during the championship gridiron match or would the ad fare match the presumed intellectual wit that’s watching the Book Bowl?
To give it a competitive element, I’d feature heated debates on controversial topics that relate to books. Let people go jaw-to-jaw like they’re on a daytime talk show.
You can add in a regional or city element by having authors and representatives from all over the country to participate.
You would have something for everyone when business authors talk to erotic novelists, while faith publishers interact with.
There would be readings by poets, novelists, and nonfiction authors.
Awards would be given out.
The event would have an interactive social media component as well.
Results from various polls and surveys that were researched before the Book Bowl can be announced before a live audience so that reactions could be measured.
Best of all, the Book Bowl could be like a Jerry Lewis telethon, where money could be raised so that literacy could be promoted and censorship fought.
Will you tune in to the Book Bowl?
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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at email@example.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2015
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