As 2008 closes I wonder, "Where did the time go?!" It's been an extraordinary year and a challenging one.
The economy has made it hard for every industry to flourish and as booksellers try to survive, publishers cut back jobs and acquisitions. Yet, books have not gone away. Nor do I think they will. Ever.
I do think that the competition between books will grown. With fewer books being printed publishers will be more picky about what they take and what they will pass on. I have friends who have been published for years that are now struggling to get their newest books picked up, or contracts renewed. It's a hard time and I don't have a crystal ball to tell us if 2009 will be any better. I hope that it will.
COS will be making changes in 2009 to our audio and video products and distribution of those projects. Because of the tight economy we feel obligated to make our products the most effective marketing tool they can be. So we have made relationships and signed contracts with more libraries, booksellers, book clubs and specialty sites. Not only is our distribution more diversified in platform, but it is more targeted in what audience will see it.
We have someone in our Distribution Department that goes around to our online sites and maintains them. He comments on other people's videos, participates in the community and maintains a general presence there for COS in a very real and meaningful way. And, it allows us to engage in a two way relationship, thus creating deeper and more loyal relationships with people on those sites.
Our distribution has increased and our Gold Distribution package is getting 3 million impressions with 3 million increment increases from there. These are meaningful impressions in vast numbers. Radio and television can't compete with our numbers for the price.
We will be doing more with mobile in 2009 and I'm excited about that. We will do a lot more interactive stuff and I can't wait to unveil that!! Reader's Entertainment TV will get a make over and we are adding two more sites-
In Faith Network (InFaithNetwork.com) will go live in January. It is specifically for our Inspirational videos. And Young Readers TV (YoungReadersTV.com) will be for children and young adult videos only. Both will tie in to Reader's Entertainment TV.
We will be attending several conventions in 2009 including RT, RWA, BEA and ThrillerFest.
I was reading the Advertising Age magazine last night and they are saying that in 2008 there were 10 Out-of-Home advertising venues that really stood out. 3 is cinema, where top agencies are now putting ads before movies. COS started doing that back in 2004. The stats on that kind of advertising are very impressive. And 4 is ads on buses. COS started putting book videos on buses earlier this year. It is always good to know that we're on the right track with advertising. We've been extremely happy with both venues!
Did you know that there is a concentration of book buyers on buses? Research shows that we can hit more actual book buyers with Transit TV than with traditional TV in those same areas. We even know where those people are going to buy their books and guess what? It isn't Amazon. That was surprising to me. A very, very small percent went to Amazon.com to buy books.
We are very grateful to everyone who helped make 2008 such a successful year for COS! Thank you! And we hope you and yours will have a wonderful and prosperous New Year in 2009!