I know it’s tempting. I know they’re probably your biggest outlet in today’s world. But really, truly, Amazon don’t need your help to boost their market share: they’re taking it from the rest of us anyway, along with the supermarkets with all their cut-price paperbacks.
Kudos to Evangelical Press for launching a national railways poster campaign: it’s great to see a Christian publisher prepared to invest in this kind of marketing:
Posters for the book ‘Who made God?’ are being put up on Febraury [sic] 1st at the following major train stations: Bristol Parkway, Bristol Temple Meads, Cardiff Central, Doncaster, Glasgow Central, Liverpool Central, Manchester Oxford Road, Manchester Victoria, Peterborough and York. Keep an eye out.
But why the big Amazon push? Amazon aren’t interested in promoting a Christian ethos: they’ll just as happily sell your prospective customers Dawkins’ God Delusion and tell them what a fantastic book that is.
Fair enough, I guess, if Amazon are sponsoring the posters; but if that’s what this is about, surely a better way to raise funds for a poster campaign would have been to approach the Christian book trade? I’m not in a position to bankroll this sort of campaign; but if I’d been approached I’d have gladly blogged it to the trade and encouraged others to run with it.
But I’d be very surprised if Amazon are sponsoring the posters. So — assuming it is free publicity for an online bookseller that everybody knows about already — why not publicise a Christian online bookseller such as eden.co.uk?
I raised that question on their facebook page — here’s the conversation so far:
Phil Groom: I guess there wasn’t room on the poster to say “Order at your local Christian bookshop”??
EP Books (Evangelical Press): We want to get this one into every bookshop Phil. Christian bookshops have had a five month head start and all the advertising in the Christian media pointed to them
Phil Groom: Thanks for coming back to me. I hear what you say … but if that’s the case, why not, “Order at your local bookshop”? Surely that would be more helpful to the wider trade? Do amazon need you to help boost their market share?
We’re all in this together and whilst amazon are not the enemy, they do nothing to promote a Christian ethos. If you wanted to promote an online seller, why not eden.co.uk as a fellow Christian outlet? Just my thoughts for what they’re worth…
I’m hoping they’ll come back to me again, that that’s not the end of the conversation; but in the meantime, what do you think? Are we ready to stand together as a trade to support something like this, retailers and publishers working together? Isn’t this essentially what the Stronger Together – Weaker Apart campaign is all about?
Imagine hundreds of Christian retailers standing together and saying, “Here’s £xx towards the publicity drive: we’ll commit to stocking this book.” Imagine the publisher responding in kind and offering us the trade discount they normally reserve for Amazon and their ilk. Imagine that poster saying, “Order at your local Christian bookshop: www.christianbookshops.org.uk” — what an amazing boost for all of us! What a way to start a new decade!
Following through on Amy’s request: authors, artists, agents too: what do you think? Are you happy to see publishers promoting your books on Amazon or would you prefer to see them promoting sales through the shops? Is there any reason not to promote both?
Publishers, I urge you: please don’t do this! Unless, of course, you’ve already decided that bookshops are history; because the more you promote Amazon, the weaker we become and the more Amazon will demand from you. Continue to let the tail wag the dog and one day that tail’s liable to turn into a serpent that bites your head off…
Finally, it would be remiss of me not to thank those publishers and suppliers who are supporting us: thank you; and in closing, h/t to Melanie Carroll for flagging this up on twitter:
|unicorntreebks RT: @EPBooks: Posters for the book ‘Who made God?’ at major train stations:… http://bit.ly/6Zg9Bs
another publisher not supprting shops
19/01/2010 from Echofon