Sunday, October 19, 2008

Where are the readers?

It came up in one of my meetings that publishers are worried about the disappearance of their readers. Publishers have been mourning the death of their own industry since its birth, it seems. Every year a new survey comes out telling us that nobody reads, that books don't sell, that our livelihood is about to disappear from under us.

Before you let the impending doom overwhelm you and your love of book publishing, let me give you some positive news. On Saturday, the Frankfurt Book Fair posted its largest number of visitors ever: 78,218. The hallways and escalators overflowed with people, backpacks, rolling suitcases, and swag. It also came up in this same meeting that, in fact, our situation might not be so dire as we fear.

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