Books: Why dump a loyal crowd?

Posted: March 31, 2008 in Business Advice, Marketing, Strategy
Tags: , ,

For the most part books seem to break one of the key rules the Direct Marketing/ CRM / Customer Love / Marketing / Loyalty experts have been shouting for years:

The rule?  “Thou should look after thy existing customers first and foremost”

How do they break the rule? By not giving fans what they demand

Let me explain.

You have been reading a series of books by a particular author. Following a story, waiting for each new book to be published. And then, after book 3 or book 5 – nothing!

I’m not talking about a series of seperate stories involving the same character (eg James Bond) – but a continuing story – such as the Saga of the Seven Suns by Kevin J Anderson.

(Yes – I have been following this series and avidly waiting each year for the next book.)

Trouble is – the last book, (book 7), iis due this year – then what?

Why is it not possible to continue a good story with a new book each year?

From a marketing perspective – Kevin has gained a loyal audience that have bough more than two million copies of the books.

From a publishers perspective the books have an established track record that makes them easy to promote.

From a writers perspective – the series is dubbed a ‘Space Opera’ with so many characters it has a bibliography for readers to keep track of them all – there must be a million ways the story could continue – ad infinitum.

I do not know the book industry and am certain I am missing some key facts here, but you the reader are left with a question:

Does this marketing rule hold true – and the book industry are missing out on revenues from loyal existing customers, or does the rule NOT hold true under all circumstances.

And if it is the latter – what clever tactics can we learn from book publishing – that can be applied to other industries?

Or – as publishing moves to an electronic forum – what old ‘givens’ will be challenged, what will have to change?

  1. eoinpurcell says:


    I see your point, but perhaps the author feels the story has run it’s course.

    There is an alternative, the publisher buys the rights to the world and has other writers script texts then slap Kevin’s name on it!

    Of course that’s what Fan Fiction does to some extent and perhaps publishers might be wise to harness some of that energy and passion!

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