According to a report from Publishers Weekly and the Institute for Publishing Research published earlier this year, total book sales are projected to dip 0.5% in 2009, to $35.04 billion. With its growing popularity, Amazon reported in May 2009 that Kindle-edition books accounted for a whopping 35% of book sales when the electronic editions are available. Sony has the Reader Digital Book as well. People are reading less printed material and instead choosing digital books, Kindles, Sony Readers, iPod ‘books’, books-on-CD, and so-forth over picking up a paperback and settling into their favorite recliner.
While I do love reading my personalized newspaper every morning (that’s my RSS feed), nothing is better than getting a printed book and sitting down with a highlighter and pen to take notes in the margin and apply what I’m reading and learning to my work and/or my personal life. Lately, I’ve felt an urge to really start digging into social media trends, so this past weekend, I went to Village Books in Fairhaven, WA to pick up some titles that had been recommended to me, and a couple that really grabbed my attention while I was there:
- The Cluetrain Manifesto – Rick Levine, Christopher Locke, Doc Searls, & David Weinberger: this book was recommended to me by several people. Essential reading for anybody interested in the Internet and e-commerce, and is especially vital for businesses navigating the topography of the wired marketplace.
- Microtrends – Mark J Penn: this book was in the Business section, and the subtitle caught my eye: ‘the small forces behind tomorrow’s changes’. This book gets into the details of seventy microtrends that are changing our lives today and will affect our lives in the future. I can’t wait to dive into this book!
- Free: The Future of a Radical Price – Chris Anderson: I’ve been wanting this since I first watched Chris Anderson’s discussion of the book at Google back in July. This book is about how today, companies can potentially profit more from giving things away than they can by charging for them, and how this can be a business strategy that may well be essential to a company’s survival.
- The New Rules of Marketing & PR – David Meerman Scott: like Microtrends, the title and subtitle of this book caught my attention on the shelf: ‘how to use news releases, blogs, podcasting, viral marketing, & online media to reach buyers directly’. To me, that reads ‘how to…reach candidates directly’!
Since more of my job duties these days are involving social media, whether it’s direct outreach or helping to come up with strategies to drive people to our jobsite, I wanted to get some reading material to help me understand how to do this better. I think I’ve got a pretty good start with these titles. My goal will be to finish one book per month and review it here.