CommentaryApril 29th, 2016
Beyond the book
Publishers selling direct to consumers has been one of the industry’s biggest trends of the last few years. More and more of them have been building their own ecommerce websites, cutting out the middlemen and persuading people to buy direct from them instead. For specialist publishers in particular, who know their readers exceptionally well, the opportunities for direct sales have been very exciting.
But where do we go from here? With D2C now approaching maturity, it is time for publishers to think about what more they can offer their customers. To keep readers coming back and buying, they need to go beyond just selling them books—they need to build communities around them, and give them content and experiences that they cannot get anywhere else.
It means that publishers need to evolve into something new: curators. Many publishers’ websites are already good places to browse, but they can be even better: not just stores but destinations in their own right. Niche publishers especially should be aiming to make themselves the go-to sources in their subjects—places to return to time and again for high quality, well curated content, and not just books.