Thursday, 5 January 2017
Book Sales - A new target audience?
By Ronald Gibson
My wife, the author of the Chronicles of Han Storm, and myself were having a discussion about the reason that book sales, be it hard copy or digital, have gone through a cycle of decline, and is now again showing a slight increase.
We looked at more social media personal profiles over a period of time than you can shake a stick at, and came to the following conclusion:
Avid readers seem to be people that are comfortable in themselves and their individuality, not needing the comfort of instant gratification and the feeling of being part of a herd. These individuals appear to have struck a balance between social interactions and the Self, able to enjoy, revel and attain growth in both worlds. These strong individuals were as comfortable in a social setting as they were sitting alone, reading a book. The subject matter of these books they read is also an indicator of their belief in themselves, normally books and subject matter you would not see as what has become mainstream literature.
These individuals would explore and expand their own boundaries by choosing books for themselves not necessarily on the best-seller list. They would not follow the herd by reading books hyped by marketing and the following herd instinct (Fifty Shades of Grey comes to mind), but read books that will not be forgotten in time, be it a novel, science fiction, biography or any subject you wish to choose.
Turn back time to a few years ago when book sales were desperately low. Society seemed to have lost itself in the herd instinct, professionally or in their private lives. Business, industry and the economy seemed unable to function unless it took place as a group, where individuals were seen as rogues. Everything took place around collective meetings, congresses, symposiums, which ironically were headed mostly by these rogue individuals.
Even now our schooling system is geared at encouraging learners to function as a collective instead of collaborating as individuals.
The net effect of this is the collective that degenerates to the lowest common factor, whereas the collaborating individuals aspire to attain higher ideals. The instant gratification provided by social interaction, pictures or video, dancing, boozing, etc pushed the interaction with the self to the background, leaving part of the psyche under-nourished or starving, creating underlying problems of its own.
Slowly people lost part of themselves not associated with the herd. This could be seen in more people becoming less self-confident, unable to interact in some intellectual environments, and totally feeling out of place when suddenly having to function without the herd.
Part of the result was that people in the herd would rather wait for a movie than read the book, in the process losing a lot of what the author would try to impart. People that come across an interesting part in a book tend to review that part, or perhaps set the book aside (pressing pause) to analyse it, reflect on it or make a note. No way you can do that in a cinema, and seldom does it happen when watching a video. The drive for instant gratification does not cater for or allow a deeper level of understanding that comes with reading a book. Even social media messages not containing pictures or moving images like videos of gifs are mostly ignored.
Now that more in society is starting to reject this herd instinct, starting to think for themselves again, causing that that under-nourished part in people to start demanding to be fed with stimulating activities, this in part is reflected in the rising sales of books. Those seem to be the new target market.
This awareness had us look closely to our own marketing and sales, coming to the conclusion that we are definitely not catering to the 'Herd' but to the individual awakened free thinker. Readers are individuals, not faceless numbers in orders and sales. Many of our readers become clients for our Healing Oils and most have given feedback as to how the books, as well as the oils, have changed their lives.
What I find most satisfying is someone coming up to us, or sending us an email, pertaining to this fact. This is reward for hours of labour, of writing and editing and missing out on family time, to see how someone else heals and matures as they go through the process of either reading The Chronicles of Han or using Rejuvinit or Axhilirit Healing Oil Products.
Copyright @ RFGibson 2017
Ronald is the Owner and Co-Founder of Healing Oil Products as well as the Moderator for the Chronicles of Han Storm Series.