Daily Archives: September 23, 2010

Blockbuster’s Lesson For Print Publishing

Blockbuster Bankruptcy Shows Danger of Being Inflexible In Digital Age

If you want to see people stomping on and spitting on a company they utterly detest, go read the Comments there. They speak volumes about why this country is in the mess it’s in as well as why print publishing in its current state is doomed.

Here is the one Comment that should smack print publishing up the side of its head:

This past year I taught a film class at Berkeley and arranged for the students to have free Blockbuster Online memberships for the movies they had to watch outside of class. More than half of them kept their Netflix accounts, and a few used Amazon downloads instead.

That spoke volumes to me — broke college students would rather PAY to use your competitor’s service than use yours for free, because you aren’t giving this generation what it wants. They could not fathom not being able to just download the movies they needed to see, and were annoyed that they had to wait for DVDs to arrive in the mail. (Of course, back when I took this class, we had to go to the library, get the VHS tapes from the reserve desk and sit at a viewing station).

Keep that in mind when you emerge from bankruptcy, Blockbuster. If you do.

Boldfaced emphasis added by me.

Hey, print publishing! Do you really think you’re providing everything people want to read in eBook format? Does Harry Potter ring a bell? What about those backlist titles Andrew Wylie moved into eBooks without waiting for any of you? What about all those backlist and even current titles that readers have scanned and uploaded and are distributing for free?

And look around at all those writers you’ve been shedding too. They still have audiences.

When your customers are running faster than you are, you don’t get to cry about being left behind due to your own laziness.


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Filed under Books: General, Digital Overthrow, eBooks: General, Friction, Marketing, Writers

Books: 1901

Click = big

Source: American Memory Project, Library of Congress.

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Filed under Books: General

Alfred A. Knopf, 1922

Three-quarter-length portrait of Alfred A. Knopf, a publisher, sitting with one arm resting on a table with books displayed on it in a bookstore in Chicago, Illinois.

Source: American Memory Project, Library of Congress

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Filed under Books: General, Bookstores

Publishing Fiddles While Print 451s

Everyone’s screaming at us that book publishing is dying and we’re LOL’ing with each other. And why not dammit?! Worked for Nero…Thu Sep 23 14:25:04 via web

Wikipedia: Nero:

According to Tacitus, the population searched for a scapegoat and rumors held Nero responsible [for the fire in Rome]. To deflect blame, Nero targeted Christians. He ordered Christians to be thrown to dogs, while others were crucified and burned.

You can’t throw to the dogs someone who already lives with them:

Source: NYPL Digital Gallery

Wikipedia: Diogenes.

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Filed under Digital Overthrow

Another Example Of Banking Gangsterism!

Man’s home sold out from under him in foreclosure mistake

When Jason Grodensky bought his modest Fort Lauderdale home last December, he paid cash. But seven months later, he was surprised to learn that Bank of America had foreclosed on the house, even though Grodensky did not have a mortgage.

Boldfaced emphasis added by me.

How many more “anecdotes” are required to add up to absolute proof that the banks are totally out of control in this country and are out to loot whoever they can? And can do so apparently with impunity!

Where are the Feds to step on these banks with the RICO laws?

If an individual did this, that person would be in prison right now for fraud. But if a bank does this, it gets papered over as a clerical error?

Keep feeding The Overthrow!

Previously here:

Gangster Banks
I Smell Connections, Bribes, And Kickbacks

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Filed under Collapse, Pottersville

Bookstores Now Selling To The Rats

I don’t think print publishing will know what the hell to make of this — E-book sales begin to cannibalise print — so I will interpret it for them.

Sales of printed romance books have fallen for the first time since records began at a time when e-book sales have more than doubled.

The data, released as part of a seminar held yesterday with Enders Analysis, ‘Digital Seminar: e-books and their impact on the market’, showed genres such as science fiction and romance are “overperforming” thanks to the tastes of early adopters of e-books. For example, the e-book market share of the science fiction and fantasy sector globally for the 10 weeks since June was 10%, more than treble the genre’s market share of print book sales. The share taken by romance and saga books was 14%, seven times its print market share.

Can you believe that? “Overperforming”?! It takes the Suit Mentality to come up with a term like that!

Tell me, Mr. Suit, what should the level of “perform” actually be? Who devised this measurement? What demented delusional world do you live in where things line up neatly like rows of figures in a ledger? Have you looked outside at raw nature lately? How neat and orderly and regimented is that?

Seth Godin nailed what’s been happening in December 2009: It’s not the rats you need to worry about

iTunes and file sharing killed Tower Records. The key symptom: the best customers switched. Of course people who were buying 200 records a year would switch. They had the most incentive. The alternatives were cheaper and faster mostly for the heavy users.

Amazon and the Kindle have killed the bookstore. Why? Because people who buy 100 or 300 books a year are gone forever. The typical American buys just one book a year for pleasure. Those people are meaningless to a bookstore. It’s the heavy users that matter, and now officially, as 2009 ends, they have abandoned the bookstore. It’s over.

Boldfaced emphasis added by me.

There’s your “overperformance,” Mr. Suit-Man. The best customers are “overperforming.” The best customers have left the physical stores.

What’s left at bookstores right now are the rats. Everyone else has departed in the digital lifeboats.

You can tell who the rats are too. They’re the ones who look at a display of eBook devices and ask out loud, “Why do I want to buy this?”

Since they buy a whole two or three books per year, guess what? They don’t need to buy it! They’ll just stop reading altogether when they find out they can’t get something in print!

Now tell me again why your future isn’t that of Blockbuster’s?


Filed under Books: General, Bookstores, Digital Overthrow, eBooks: General

Welcome To The Future. Now Die!

With all the talk talk talk about “shareholder value,” the shareholders wind up holding a bag of nothing now. The bondholders get the company.

How can I feel any sympathy for a bunch of Suits who ignored, laughed at, and spit on those who were creating the future right in front of their faces? Who spit on us for choosing to enter the future?

Print publishing is next.


Two Down, One To Go…


Filed under Digital Overthrow