With her characteristically witty yet no-nonsense turns of phrase my co-panellist at London Author Fair, Anna Lewis of Completely Novel and Valobox, caused something of a stir. Netflix as “eyeball heroin” and the supply chain as something to “engineer the shit out of” are phrases that seem destined to enter the publishing canon, much as “context first” did not so long ago.
I’ve chatted on and off with Anna about the problems traditional book publishers face in getting closer to and communicating with individual book buyers (as opposed to trade resellers). What customers want, and how they’d like to use and share eBooks is something the Valobox team think and talk about daily. One of their problems is how patchy D2C interactions within the book industry supply chain are., making it tough to make any meaningful generalisations as a basis for action and development.
I suggested to Anna that perhaps a solution would be a survey – to asses the current state of play in terms of how publishers think about end consumers and readers; how and if they interact with them and how important it is to them to be able to do so now and in future. Perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised when people take my suggestions seriously – but I was happy to receive a call from Anna to say; Survey’s ready – let’s get the word out.
The deal is that if you participate, Valobox will share a summary of their findings with you. Please go ahead and take the survey. There’s precious little reliable, organised data in this area. Up-to-date information will help innovative young companies like Valobox in their work to help us solve this most crucial of problems.