LJNDawson.com, Consulting to the Book Publishing Industry
Book Publishing Industry Consultant

Long Tail Tale

I find it so amusing that the long tail concept is actually considered news.

It's like when CNN "discovered" blogs and appointed their
Internet reporters. Or when, in 1997, executives began talking about "stickiness". (Talk sticky to me, baby.)

Barnes & Noble.com, it is and was well known that the bestsellers got the most attention, but the bulk of income came from backlist sales - the "long tail". In the aggregate, these sales were what kept B&N in business - and they still do. The Harry Potters will soar out of the ballpark, but it's the Dummies books that keep the team in the game.

And of course the same is true for any browse, any search - whether physical or virtual (and the distinction between the two is blurring always). There's the obvious hits, and then everythingelse. That everythingelse is your long tail.

Whoever came up with this as a marketable concept is...driving me crazy.
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