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Contest: How Do We Make Being a Reader Sexy & Exciting to “Non-Readers”?

September 10, 2009

Joanne Randall has a blog post on the Huffington Post titled: Time to Sell Reading: What the “Good” Publishing Industry Needs to Learn from the Big “Bad” Drug Industry. It’s a very thought provoking article and addresses something I have thought of myself quite a bit recently: How can we get more people reading when there is still the stigma of avid readers being thought of as nerds or as Joanne reminds us ‘…”lonely women with cats,” “geeky professors,” “bespectacled librarians’…’? Computer geeks are en vogue they are no longer looked down upon, in fact they are often “rock stars” of sorts, thanks to Steve Jobs (I believe it was him that turned it around – I’m sure others might argue the point though). But if you have your nose stuck in a book or are excited about a soon to be released book people look at you like you have an extra head or are possibly some kind of alien. Think about it. If you are reading my blog it is likely that you are a reader, so what can we as the book buyers, the readers & the bloggers do to help the industry at large change the misconceptions and stereotypes placed upon us? We are hip and sexy, outgoing and oftentimes outrageous. Sure some of us are also still shy, quite, cat ladies but even then we are often reading books that would make South Beach hipsters blush. I think Joanne is right about the publishing industry itself but what about us? How can we help? After all without us the industry would cease to exist. Something to think about. One thing Joanne doesn’t mention in her article that I would like to put out there to the industry is the  Celebrity Nintendo DS commercials – they took a children’s gaming system and turned it into a cool accessory for adults. Why not have commercials with celebrities reading the new Yasmine Galenorn, Michelle Rowen, Seanan McGuire or Lilith Saintcrow on their Sony Reader? Just a thought… P1080107Read Joanne’s article and then leave me a comment with your ideas either directed towards readers/bloggers or for the publishing industry. I will choose one idea and buy that person one of the new releases of their choice off of my September 2009 Releases post. You may choose a standard or e-book from the list. If you choose an e-book I will order you a gift card from an e-book store that sells the book you chose in the format of your choice. Just leave a comment – become a follower via RSS (and let me know you did) and include your email address so I can notify the winner. The contest ends on Sept. 30, 2009 at Midnight Eastern Time. ***This pic is of my Sony Reader taken by my Hubby.* This contest is NOT to win a Sony Reader – it is only to win a book.***

2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 14, 2009 01:57

    The audience Nintendo was trying to reign in were females (industry-wide no one recognizes that girls/women play the same video games their male counterparts have been playing for ages) and adults who’d never played video games before. The commercials were a way for the unconverted masses to see it isn’t just kids and teenage boys or 20-something males that play video games–video games can be made that are fun for “everyone else” to play.

    With regards to the article, if I ignore the implications for Reading Rainbow’s cancellation and assume everyone, even kids, knows how to read rather than wants to read and just don’t know what books to get my suggestion is this:

    **Commercials with celebrities imagining themselves as the protagonist of a book, acting out scenes, being caught up in the moment until someone, a stranger perhaps, or, someone nearby, jerks them out of their daydream and we join them in the reality that is them, breathless, coming out of a reading-induced daydream, book in their hands, sitting on the subway/living room couch/movie or TV set/cafe/etc…and we get to see the cover of what they’re reading**

    I worry, though, that a “sexy” campaign will only increase the likelihood of certain genres being shot through with quick, snappy books that engage people in the same way the Twilight series or Dan Brown’s books have. If this were to work across broad genres, celebrities would have to be seen in these type of commercials reading everything–not just the next Harry Potter, Twilight, or mystery thriller. More people need to be made aware of all literature, not just the popular stuff.

    Anyway, I am following you via Google RSS! If I win, I would love a hard copy of Margaret Atwood’s Year of the Flood. My e-mail address: brownjawa at gmail dot com.


  1. Contests & Giveaways Round up! « Book Obsessed

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