Friday, June 17, 2011

Growing the Market

WHEN Tiger Woods came onto the PGA Tour in 1997, the total purse money for golfers was $70 million a year. Due to Tiger's large profile, talent, and influence, ten yers later the purse money had grown to $280 million.

This is the kind of growth which can happen to books and literature in the culture. A few things need to happen first.

1.) Better products.
2.) More exciting writer personalities.
3.) Better promotion of the products and personalities.

This is what I tried to make happen, in a very primitive way, with the Underground Literary Alliance. It was good practice! But only that. The fact remains that the literary "pie" can expand in multiples.

Part of accomplishing this will be to adjust the supply/demand situation regarding novels and stories.

A.) The first end of this will be to narrow the immense supply situation. The market is flooded with books and novels. The way to do this is to create a product which stands out-- that doesn't look or sound like other novels, or be called one, even if a novel is exactly what it is. Crazy? No. The Beatles played rock n' roll, but it didn't quite sound like rock n roll, and they didn't look like past rock n' rollers.

B.) The second end is to do what the Beatles' manager Brian Epstein accomplished: Create overwhelming demand for the new look and new sound. Both will play off each other.

Tiger Woods obviously didn't look like your traditional golfer! He also presented a better product. He wasn't, really, a better golfer than Phil Mickelson or others. But he had a stronger will, more determined persona, and he worked far harder at what he did-- the first golfer to follow an extremely intense fitness program. His playing therefore looked different.

Tiger attracted people to himself outside the regular pool of golf fans. He created many new fans. This is what the new writer needs to accomplish.

It awaits to be done.