“There are people who really need bookstores, people who I have come to know well,” writes Annie Hartnett in Salon. “There’s the elderly woman who comes to every reading and sits in the front row. A professor visits in the afternoon to tell dirty jokes and he often brings challah to share. There is a therapist who works next door, and he buys and reads more novels than I would think is humanly possible or financially responsible.”
“Bookstores are for people who aren’t always listened to, or for people who don’t always have someone to talk to. Bookstores often attract people who are otherwise introverted, or people who don’t realize how much they need a social connection. It’s a comforting environment to socialize, an easy place to strike up a conversation.”
Publishers are cutting e-book prices to entice people away from other “digital temptations,” reports Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg in The Wall Street Journal (12/29/15). Usually, an e-book costs “about $12.99 to $14.99,” but some titles can be had for as little as 99 cents — and sometimes for free — via sites like BookBub.com. “What publishers are saying is that they’d rather you read our book than play Angry Birds,” says BookBub CEO Josh Schanker. BookBub plays its part by promoting the discounted e-books to some 7 million of its daily email subscribers.
BookBub doesn’t directly sell the e-books; it simply offers links to Amazon, Apple and Barnes & Noble, which pay it a referral fee of five or ten percent of the retail price. It also earns “a fee from publishers and self-published writers, who pay to have their works included in the daily emails.” This, of course, results in increased sales of the books. It can also bring broader exposure and potential “buzz” to books that might otherwise languish in obscurity. BookBub anticipates “about $30 million in retail sales” this year.
The question is “whether consumers who are dedicated to reading bargain books will ever spend as enthusiastically to buy full-priced titles.” “It’s a trade-off,” says Brendan Rudnicki of RobinReads.com, a BookBub competitor, along with BookGorilla, and TheFussyLibrarian. “Everybody wants visibility and they are willing to discount to get it,” Brandon says. Steven Zacharias, CEO of Kensington Books admits the allure is powerful. “We know we might be shooting ourselves in the foot,” he says. “But I can’t resist because it’s such a good way to stimulate sales.”
The Pacific Standard: Getting something for free makes us act a whole lot different than when we pay, even if it’s just a few cents. What exactly is going on when the price of something is lowered to zero?
“You have to commit to caring for the culture more than the quarter.” – Jessica Herrin, Founder & CEO, Stella & Dot Family Brands, quoted by The New York Times.
Christian Science Monitor: McDonald’s has added “Signature Crafted” to its portfolio of available terms for upscale burgers, a group that already included “Chef Crafted” and “TasteCrafted.”
The “Signature Crafted” term could be planned for use with a national rollout of the Chef Crafted/Taste Crafted customization program or it could be planned for use with something entirely different.