Publishers, present a reason to buy your artifact

“Consumers need powerful emotional & psychological reasons to buy your books rather than just grab the nearest free e-book,” says Audry Taylor, creative director of Go! Comi. Earlier this month, Robot 6 announced that Go! Comi closed shop “due to a combination of economic downturn and digital theft.” In a recent article she offers five suggestions for publishers who want to avoid going out of business due to digital piracy:

  1. Make a story available world-wide simultaneously in all major languages.
  2. In a digital format.
  3. With perks for pre-orders.
  4. And goodies that digital pirates can’t reproduce. (And yes, that’s possible. Goodies they can’t compete with, like author chats.)
  5. Rip off business model 4 pirate sites & one-up them. They offer a Wii raffle for a subscription to a d/l site, u offer author-signed Wii

Though this is written primarily for a manga/comic publishing audience, I think this is good advice for any book publisher.

I’ve said this before, but books need to be designed in way that compels consumers to buy a souvenir, dead-tree product (maybe in a decade a book will be called an artifact). In light of Audry Taylor’s comments, I plan to amend that note to encompass a broader reach than well-designed, dead-tree products. She continues by saying, “My dream pub company is multimedia + print + Etsy + Cafepress + Goodreads + Facebook + fan community.” I agree. The more you compel readers/content users to make emotional and psychological investments in your content, the better the relationship your brand will have with your loyal followers (dare I say, your brand’s evangelists?).

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