Another argument for self-publishing

Chris Anderson, editor-in-chief of Wired Magazine. wrote The Long Tail, a brilliant article which first appeared in Wired in October 2004 and will become a book, published by Hyperion, on July 11, 2006.

The concept was elegantly captured by this graphic:

The theory of the Long Tail is that our culture and economy is increasingly shifting away from a focus on a relatively small number of "hits" (mainstream products and markets) at the head of the demand curve and toward a huge number of niches in the tail. …In an era without the constraints of physical shelf space and other bottlenecks of distribution, narrowly-targeted goods and services can be as economically attractive as mainstream fare.

Chris has been developing the concept on his blog and now is ready to publish his work as a book.

Because the publisher feels that the above long tail graphic will be off-putting to prospective readers, they have come up with a cover graphic which is non-offensive, non-challenging, and non-informative!

Does anyone else feel that the use of an enter button is trite, banal, and utterly clueless?

I question what this publisher adds to the project except for possible distribution assistance. I think this cover will not attract any new readers and will make the book a much harder sell than one with the original graphic.

Read the whole story of the cover with comments from readers who have been following the long tail story from the beginning.

Those of you who are self-publishing can add this to your list of questions to ask yourself. Does the cover communicate my ideas to the people I want to reach?

Look at this cover and judge for yourself. The text is fine, but the graphic is aimed at a knee-high culture which probably thinks the long tail is something you order to go.


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