There's a piece
in the New YorkTimes about a fascinating situation in the book publishing business - letting the public pick winners before they're published. A virtual market called Media Predict
will give people fantasy cash and let them vote with their pseudo-dollars on what book proposals will sell. Simon & Schuster "teamed up with Gather.com
, a social networking site, to run an “American Idol”-style contest in which voters pick a manuscript for Simon & Schuster to publish."
It's interesting, but I think it also underscores how little understanding book publishers have of their most fundamental task: choosing what to send into print. This experiment smacks of desperation. But after so many years of effectively playing Eenie, Meenie, Minie, Moe, I can see how they might feel a bit anxious.
Labels: books, publishing, strategy