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21 January 2007

The Book Business has a Symbiotic Relation with Your Local Newsprint Media

Today I read The Montreal Gazette looking outside the Books 'Section K' to see if other, more 'newsy' pieces mentioned trade fiction or non-fiction titles.

In several different sections (I want to say 'cahiers' because that is how the French newspapers Le Devoir and La Presse and Le Journal de Montréal are divided) . . well, in various parts and pages I found numerous articles that mentioned 'so-and-so, author of . . .'. I even ran across whole feature pieces outside the Books section where it amounted to an author interview.

Sports jocks write books. Journalists write books. Gossip columnists are authors.

Any regular reader of a newspaper will feel driven to go check out or buy this or that book if they want to find out more about the people covered in the paper or to research facts and ideas that make headlines.

The conclusion is obvious, unless you think that radio and television also reference books as much as newsprint media. Do you think they highlight people who write books? I mean the most popular media. It bears looking into, because, if not . . .

A decline in the circulation of newspapers, or concentration of the news in the hands of media groups who make most of their money from cable and broadcast media, could be the biggest threat to the book trade.

Think about it. Blogaulaire and other boys and girls on blogs harp about digitized books. You could start to see Google as a big threatening ogre that will gobble the bookstores and the publishers in one gulp. But maybe the big ogre, if there is one, is the THING out there that is gobbling up the daily newspapers!

CLICK on the title for one example of a news article that is about a TRADE TITLE.

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