There's encouraging news. I've been harping about the fact that most people today don't read. I've also said that it's bookstores that run the business, not publishers. In other blogs, there have been complaints that publishers don't do enough for authors, that they give them starvation wages, etc...
M.J.Rose's blog, Buzz, Balls & Hype has been touting the need for alternate marketing solutions to selling books, arguing that publishers aren't doing such a hot job of it. Marketing to the readers, rather than the bookstores, seems to be one of her principles (something she's definitely been successful with).
It seems that small publishers have been having the same idea, and are being successful at it. The Book Industry Study Group, a resource for publishing professionals , came out with an April 2005 report that states that "Smaller publishers also have impressive track records with marketing strategies and tactics that industry giants now see as the wave of the future."
They go on to say that small publishers
"have been using routes to readers beyond the bookstore world, and often selling more books outside trade channels than within them, while the largest booksellers have been claiming more of the traditional bookstore market. More specifically, the study findings indicate that small and midsize publishers do more than 50% of their business outside book-trade channels and inside sales channels designed mainly to serve other industries that the book industry has not monitored.
They go on to say that government and industry will have to readjust their assessment of these small, but effective sellers. Finally, some encouraging news.
To read the entire abstract, go here.