Epicenter reports a rumor that Random House is caving/cashing in to join the Google book scanning initiative.
I hope they at least wait to load books of recent vintage whose writers are still on the planet. [Like yours truly.]
The article reports that this might give RH a boost in sales. Search me, but I still think publishers ought to look at their current business models before they embrace something that could mess with their writers’ intellectual property.
They should move online to market their books, not run the content there. Launch Internet campaigns. Livecast author interviews. Provide advance copies to bloggers. Create interactive websites for books and authors. Revive the old-fashioned serial approach, if you’re bent on putting content online. Use dynamic language to invite readers’ interest. Focus groups of people beyond NYC and the East Coast.
Finally, try publishing fewer and better books. Then you can apply more marketing muscle to those books instead of spreading your staff too thin. That means better message platforms, stronger analysis of sales trends and a brand that readers everywhere recognize and understand.