man reading a book

Word-of-Mouth: Good Books or Just Great Books?

In Discussion by Edward Nawotka

Don’t be satisfied with the merely good.

By Edward Nawotka, Editor-in-Chief

man reading a bookIn our feature story today Overturning The Lemonade-stand Culture of Literature, Eric Obenauf, founder, Two Dollar Radio paraphrases the writer Stephen Elliot as once saying that nobody recommends good books to their friends — they only recommend great books.

Word-of-mouth marketing is the holy grail of the book business. But it is elusive. And if what Elliot says is true, publishers would be much better off putting their efforts into producing the best possible books they can — great books — instead of being satisfied with the merely good.

As with all questions regarding the book business, the answer to always comes back to the books. The question of how to sell more books to people is easily answered: produce great books, and people will recommend and buy them.

Agree? Disagree? Let us know what you think in the comments.

About the Author

Edward Nawotka

Edward Nawotka is the Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. A former foreign correspondent, he has covered the book business since 2000, serving as daily news editor for Publishers Weekly and columnist for Bloomberg News.