Friday, November 21, 2008
A Look at December's CBA Retailing
Yesterday my digital issue of December's CBA Retailing + Resources arrived in my inbox. I usually receive this e-mail a week or two before the printed version comes in the mail. Three things to note in this issue:
1. On a personal note, it was great to see Dark Pursuit as this issue's featured fiction review in a 2/3 page spread. "Lean style and absorbing plot ... Brandilyn Collins is a master of suspense." I didn't know Dark Pursuit would be featured like this. Nice surprise and review.
Congrats to Jeanne Damoff for her book, Parting the Waters, being chosen as the nonfiction feature.
2. In "Where Have the Customers Gone?" Verne Kenney, Zondervan's Executive Sales VP, talks about the movement in music and book sales to digital versions. A few statistics he notes: In 2000 Americans bought 785 million albums. Last year that number fell to 588--including downloaded albums. Why? Because now folks are buying singles, whose sales rose 65% from 2005 to 2006. As for books, e-book sales have increased 42% since 2002. Last year Amazon released the Kindle, with sales now over 245,000 units. And Sony has its Reader. (See F&F posts on the Kindle vs. Sony here, and Zondervan's distributorship agreement with the Sony Reader here.) Kenney advises Christian bookstores that "incorporating a digital center in a high traffic area will help position your store as relevant and as a cutting edge business."
The digital age of book sales has just begun, methinks.
3. Last month CBA R+R began a column on blogs and the impact they have on Christian retail. This month the columnist talked about four levels of blogging, as learned from a webinar CBA staff members attended, sponsored by Avectra Academy. The levels go from "unengaged" blogging--those who blog but don't follow others' sites--to fully engaged, in which you are actively listening to what's going on in the blog community and creating your own helpful and unique content. Of course, the goal is to get to that fourth level.
You can help strengthen the Christian retail blog community. The columnist is making a list of blogs within CBA that relate to the industry. If your blog does this, or if you read blogs that do, send an e-mail to the columnist with the blogs' names and URLs. Put "Blog Roll" in the subject line. In subsequent columns I'm sure we'll be hearing about some of these sites.
CBA Retailing + Resources is a helpful magazine that will help you keep an eye on the industry. A yearly suscription for non-CBA members is $59.95. You can review a sample digital issue here. Go here to buy a subscription.