Friday, November 05, 2010

Lost Book Sales Dot Com

Often what you don’t know is more important than what you do know. Finding out why people don’t do something may be more informative than reaffirming why they do. Every minute of everyday someone wants to buy a book but doesn’t. It may be the price, it may be the book itself, they may not be able to find it in the format they want. The reasons are many but he result is the same – a lost sale.

Yesterday we were alerted to a hidden gem of a site which was inspired a comment at the Dear Author site on the topic of geographical rights.

‘If I had the time and computer savvy, I’d set up a site where people could submit each book they didn’t buy, and why. After the first three or four hundred stories about “I didn’t buy Book X because it’s not available in my country, so I got a pirate copy”, maybe somebody in publisher with the drive, imagination, and ability could prod the industry into action.’

Jane of Dear Author saw the need, understood the problem and reacted with speed and today we have.’

The information is captured predominantly in a structured form with drop down options and supplemented with free text entry. So against an entry you have details about the originator, their region, the book, the author, the publisher, the reason and even what they did next! The information can obviously be sorted , analysed and individual entries can even can be responded to by authors and publishers. It is independent and a very logical step to engage with readers.

The question is how will those who need this information react? Will they adopt a not invented here approach? Will they view a consumers mistake flippantly and move on ignoring the consumer? Will they look to search their titles and respond to each and every one proactively? Will they look at their competitors lost sales more than their own?

Some would suggest that the site is a little too publisher centric and should be more author and reader centric. After all many of us haven’t a clue who publishes what and who has territorial rights to what where and nor should the consumer be bothered. If successful it could have thousands of entries and being able to search and discovery similar issues may help the originator as well as the other interested parties.

The resource section may be obvious to all, but wasn’t to us.

Our main concern is that the individual appears to have little future protection and if emails are collected there needs to be some clearer statement on privacy protection than exist today.

Just think there could be a whole Lost Sales family of sites; LostSales clothing, LostSales music, LostSales restaurants, LostSales supermarkets. is a great innovation and if widely adopted by the marketplace could help everyone understand those lost sales more objectively.

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