Thursday, May 7, 2015

Book Publishing’s Fight Of The Century

I gave up on boxing during Mike Tyson’s troubled career.  It had become obvious that boxing was manipulated by low-lives like Don King.  It had diluted itself by creating multiple boxing councils and it was always under suspicion for fixing fights, treating boxers poorly, and for using questionable methods to determine boxing match-ups and rankings.  But the final straw, for me, was coming to the conclusion that this legitimized barbarism was not a sport at all, but just legalized felony taking place for our distorted entertainment.  Still, I couldn’t ignore all of the hype surrounding the recent championship fight between the two guys who have dominated their division for 15 years without fighting each other.  Until now.  The fight between two 36-year-olds drew record amounts of money on pay-per-view and the media covered it in a frenzy.  My only conclusion was this: How can book publishing have its fight of the century?

It’s been a while since we had a controversial book.  Typically, here’s what stirs the pot:

1.      Hoaxes.
2.      Plagiarism.
3.   Lawsuits.
4.      Celebrity confessionals that actually shock us.
5.      Overcoming censorship.
6.      Some entity – like a religious group – opposes the book’s publication.
7.      The book reveals a new theory behind history, science or politics.

But publishing needs an enemy, the way two prize fighters need one another to create drama.  It seems books, in general, compete with other forms of information and communication, but they don’t go to war against anything or anyone. The industry needs its Mayweathers and Pacquiaos to stir some bad blood, some tension, some sense of good vs. evil, East over West, and day vs. night.

Books that take on the establishment, oppose a political view, or rush invite a ban probably hold the most promise in creating attention for themselves.  But we need more books to rise to a level of drama that our boxing matches do.  Books present a battle for the mind, soul, and heart of every reader.

What controversy could be waged involving books?  So far the only controversy has been e-book vs. printed books and Barnes & Noble vs. Amazon vs. the indie stores.  Not too exciting and nothing that stirs book sales.  I’m looking for the book or books that are so big, news-breaking, and significant that hey re-establish why books are important and useful and entertaining.  

Maybe that book is out there and hasn’t been discovered, or perhaps it’s about to be published.  It could be that someone is penning the next blockbuster.  Publishing needs its fight of the century several times a year. The wait has been too long.

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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 He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2015

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