Television Killed Advertising

February 24, 2011

Advertising guru Paul Ashby has written an interesting book about how the rise and rise of television has killed off the art of advertising. The book also explores the two-way forms of communication Paul advocated during his many years in the advertising industry.

You can get hold of a copy here.

The back page blurb says:

“Why does big business continue to rely on the 30-second advertising spot so much? In the 1950s and 60s when there were only a few channels they could be sure every ad would reach the biggest possible audience. Now with channel fragmentation, streamed content, DVD box sets and PVRs – is anyone still watching the ads? Television Killed Advertising is the first giant step in a thousand mile march, it tells us what is wrong with the current model of marketing whilst at the same time it defines a new more effective model of advertising which places the consumer at the heart of the communication process.”

About the Author

Paul Ashby pioneered interactive marketing communication 25 years ago. He has written and produced interactive events in Australia, Japan, Singapore, USA and the UK. He wrote and produced the world s first regularly scheduled interactive television show, Su opinion est muy importante (Your opinion is very important) broadcast on Channel 7, Manila, Philippines, sponsored by Proctor & Gamble. He is interested in reading, travel, photography, music (especially jazz) and movies. Currently residing in Somerset, England, having also lived and worked in Sydney, Australia, Los Angeles, USA and Johannesburg, South Africa. Would you like to discover the incredible results to be attained by using interactive communication? Paul is currently offering his techniques as a partner in Renaissance Marketing, based in the UK. To read more of Paul s thoughts on the advertising industry, check out his blog at: http://interactivetelevisionorinteractivetv.blogspot.com

My publisher, Oktober Books, is currently seeking submissions for its 2012 list.

Any completed manuscript in any fiction genre or non-fiction subject will be considered.

If you have a book you would like Oktober Books to have a look at please send them the first three chapters along with a synopsis of the rest of the book to:

submissions@oktoberbooks.co.uk

What books did you read in 2010?

I didn’t read as much as I’d like to have (by a long way). But that happens most years. Far too much going on in my life! I expect you are the same. Which means when I invest time in a book it has to be really good.

When I was a teenager I would read every book I picked up from cover to cover, even if after a few pages I knew it sucked.

But I had more time back then and I was determined if I started something I would see it thru (an interesting life lesson is learning when giving up on something is actually the right course of action – took me a long time to learn how to make that judgement call – and I probably don’t always get that one right).

So this year the highlights of my reading have been:

The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham (genius sci-fi writer)

Bright Shiny Morning by James Frey (writes about California and you can tell he loves the place)

Survivors by Terry Nation (genius sci-fi writer, creator of the Daleks for Dr Who)

(I have also read a pretty good book for Oktober Books, but that has been an editing role and it isn’t due out until mid 2011, so I can’t really discuss… yet!)

If you have any literary highlights / must reads from the past year, please tell us about them:

My publisher, Oktober Books, is currently seeking submissions for its 2011 list.

Any completed manuscript in any fiction genre or non-fiction subject will be considered.

If you have a book you would like Oktober Books to have a look at please send them the first three chapters along with a synopsis of the rest of the book to:

submissions@oktoberbooks.co.uk

Print is dead?

September 20, 2010

Anyone with a big interest in digital publishing should check out this book: Print is Dead by Jeff Gomez. (At time of writing I can only see a paperback and hardback version available on Amazon, think someone is missing a trick here by not having a digital version…)

Jeff is a  senior director of online consumer sales and marketing for Penguin Group USA – so he knows his apples.

I read his book while in Zante last year sat by the pool and mostly found it enlightening.

The only real area I disagreed with him was on pricing of digital books. As I recall his argument was that publishers needed to charge the prices they do to ensure they could keep their staff in their offices doing the fine work they do.

This mostly amounts to quality control of submissions that go on to become books and then editing the text and laying them out before distributing them.

In my previous post I mentioned Gail Rebuck of Random House, in her Media Guardian interview she said: “Publishers are relevant. We have practical expertise and, of course, money. We give our authors advances which enable them to concentrate on their work in hand … My idea of hell is a website with 80,000 self-published works on it – some of which might be jewels, but, frankly, who’s got the time? What people want is selection and frankly that’s what we do.”

The argument from the established publishing houses appears to be the high prices of digital books needs to be maintained so THEY can offer the paying public quality control.

For some reason I quite like the idea of a website with 80,000 self published works – I suspect the collective readers of the internet will let you know what is good and what isn’t – hasn’t Gail just described YouTube (I recommend the video I link to here btw) but for books???

Anyone interested in setting up such a site should email me at edd@edwardkeating.co.uk

One of the biggest concerns in publishing at the moment is what effect the rise of digital media will have on physical books.

I have been advocating for some time that the most pronounced change will be a reduction in paper back sales as the sale of digital books rise. But this will be coupled with a rise in the sale of quality hardbacks. The theory being that if you read a reasonably priced digital book (US $1.99 or so) and really, really love it, you will buy a high end quality real  book to have in your house.

An article about Oprah and books on the BBC website tends to back this up:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-11260600

Particularly the paragraph:

“One of the early titles she recommended, from the back list of a well-known author, was only available in paperback. Oprah expressed the view strongly on her show that the work ought to be made available in an inexpensive hardback, since that was what her audience wanted – a book to keep.”

The real issue I have so far with the change to digital books is that from what I can tell the publishers are reluctent to reduce the cost of the work.

For example Tony Blair’s autobiography (apparently the quickest selling such book since records began) is priced £12.50 on Amazon hardback and £6.99 as a download to your Kindle:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/A-Journey/dp/B0040GJJUW/ref=sr_1_36?ie=UTF8&s=digital-text&qid=1284469231&sr=8-36

This Amazon link also says the rrp for both hardback and digital is £25.00 – 25 quid for the hardback OR the digital file!

As I recall CD singles used to cost £1.99 – £3.99 whereas Apple pretty much destroyed the concept with iTunes selling the digital versions for under a quid.

I have a feeling publishers will need to adapt to this kind of paradigm shift in their business in order to survive the shift to digital.

My new (ish) novel has been published.
This is a re-working of the novel I had a go at writing when I was 16.
Probably 65% of the content is from 1993 and the rest a bit of a re-write in 1999 and a further re-write to pull it all together in 2009.

The back page blurb says:
“When you are 16 the adult world is a great wide open space full of possibilities. Or at least it should be.
The grunge-fuelled early 1990s, saw the last of Generation X reach adulthood.
Will and his friends are among the last born to this desolate, degenerate generation.
They are full of hormones, full of alcohol and full of fears about the grown up world.”

I am trying a new appreoach to publishing for this book, so it is available from:

http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/1222989

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