Book publishers do not “get” the concept of the Long Tail

Chad points to an article about the way book publishers are still clinging to the old ways of doing business and are, thus, suspicious of the whol Long Tail idea.
My copy of the book arrived a few weeks ago and is waiting (in a long line) to be read in the future, but I have read John Anderson’s blog for quite a while now and I think I grok the idea of Long Tail. It applies to blogs, just as much as it applies to sales of movies, music or books.
As for books, the future is publishing-on-demand. No need for stokpiling books. If you use a publisher like, you can easily publish your own book, as well as get anything available in two work-days. You can even win a prize if you turn your blog into a self-published book.

2 responses to “Book publishers do not “get” the concept of the Long Tail

  1. John Wilkins

    It’s usualy a good idea to define terms that are possibly new to your readers, like “Long Tail”, rather than burying it in a link somewhere.

  2. You are right, but the concept is complex and it is Sunday afternoon and I wrote this fast…in other words, I was lazy.
    Small, niche-oriented items (books, movies, music, blogs…), taken together command greater sales/traffic than the Great Hits/A-listers. Offering millions of unknown items is impossible if you store them in a physical building, so the old-style business focuses on Great Hits. Having virtual/online store and the ability to buy/manufacture the ordered items quickly is the new business model. As the Long Tail items, added together, bring in more revenue than Great Hits, added together, bring in, the new model is more profitable than the old, but old habits die hard. This is an oversimplified explanation of the Long Tail, I admit. Blog carnivals are one of the Long-Tail-inspired inventions – bringing together niche blogs, introducing them to each other, raising their traffic and visibility, and at the same time completely ignoring BoingBoing, DKos and Instapundit.