Saturday, August 25, 2007
Guest Blogger Don Bruns
One in four adults read no books last year. It's a lead story in newspapers today. According to an Associated Press-Ipsos poll released Tuesday, of those who did read, women and seniors were most avid and religious works and pop fiction were the top choices. The typical person read four books in the last year. Half read more and half read fewer. Excluding those who hadn't read any, the usual number read was seven.
Analyists attribute the listlessness to competition from the Internet and other media, the unsteady economy, and a well-established industry with limited opportunities for expansion.
If pasta dishes were overtaking beef dishes in popularity, the Beef Industry would band together and have a national campaign, and maybe do commecials that said something like "BEEF, IT'S WHAT'S FOR DINNER!"
Or if the milk industry was experiencing flat sales, the Dairy Industry would probably come up with a campaign that said "GOT MILK?"
Instead, the publishing industry keeps pushing top tiered authors, and their own books to try and capture the seven books per reader.
There's nothing wrong with that, but I wonder why the major publishers can't band together for a campaign that doesn't sell individual books. A campaign that promotes the excitement of reading. A series of billboards, television ads, print pieces, that show someone reading...on a beach...in bed...in an easy chair, on the train, on a plane, in a restaurant, in a library...and the catch phrase could be "A good book can go anywhere!" Or pictures of exotic locations, with the slogan "A book can take you anywhere." Or just a series of print ads that say..."Caught you reading. Read a good book lately?" Or maybe a campaign that shows a parent reading, and a little kid next to the parent with a book. The slogan could be "Kids learn good habits by example. Read a book!"
It seems to me that the publishing industry could help put some excitement back into reading. And if we could just get each reader in America to read one more book a year...just one, it might be mine. Or yours.
Don Bruns is a mystery writer with a new release Sept. 2007.
Stuff To Die For is not only a book, but a short movie. You can learn more about both at www.donbrunsbooks.com