A Publisher’s Secret Weapon
And at the end of the day, what is it that publishers have in abundance? Information. The better the information, the more the public will be willing to pay for it.
So we have nothing to fear as an industry, for we are content. The rest is simply a matter of having good information to charge for and the mundane task of distributing it.
THE SECRET TO GREAT CONTENT
That being said, the trick is to have the unique and specific content that readers must have. The only way to achieve that is with great editors and writers.
This, my friends, is often overlooked by bean counters and bottom-line publishers. Any publishing house can get hack writers or dispassionate editors. They can, and they do. That is the clear path to diminishing readers and diminishing returns, especially in this era of content glut.
But the smart publisher that invests in great edit is planting seeds into the Ethernet that will sprout readers clamoring for more, willing to pay the piper for the jewels of addictive content.
Giving the editor the power to get the brightest minds and set up an infrastructure of intriguing, addictive, thoughtful wordmanship—that is investing. Giving the editor the support of a competent staff—that is investing. Creating a tangible atmosphere in the industry that you are the very best, the most knowledgeable, most articulate, most visionary publishers—that is investing.
There is no known cure for addictive content. And the only way to get it is to have great editors and really compelling writers. In the content delivery world, there is no substitute. I leave you all with this question (and let’s be honest): How addictive is your content?
Bob Sacks is a consultant to the printing/publishing industry and president of The Precision Media Group (www.BoSacks.com). He is publisher and editor of a daily, international industry e-newsletter, “Heard on the Web.” Sacks has held posts as director of manufacturing and distribution, senior sales manager (paper), chief of operations, pressman, cameraman and corporate janitor.