Let’s Hear It for the Long Tail

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December 2011
by Joel Friedlander

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Let’s Hear It for the Long Tail

by Joel Friedlander

One of the most interesting stories in Dan Poynter’s Self-Publishing Manual (thebookdesigner.com/2009/09/book-every-self-publisher-should-own) tells how he became a book publisher. As an avid parachute jumper, Dan looked for but could not find a good basic manual for new people coming into his sport. Eventually he wrote one and sold it to other parachuting clubs.

But what was interesting was that for some time Dan had no idea he had become a book publisher. He was just trying to fill a need, and that need could best be filled with an instructional manual. You can see that he used this same idea when he created his Self-Publishing Manual.

In a small way this story demonstrates why nonfiction publishing, including self-publishing, is often a long-tail phenomenon, and was for a long time before the idea of the long tail was introduced by Chris Anderson in Wired magazine (longtail.com).

Let’s back up for just a moment. We’ve all heard of the long tail, and it’s certainly mentioned often enough in discussions of online business.

In the past, when it cost a lot to develop, produce, and market products…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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