Turning the Pages Online

August 2001
by John Conti

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Who hasn’t at one time or another observed the book-consumer in the throes of the core “decision-to-buy” experience, browsing through books and flipping through the pages before the purchase? It’s always interesting to see readers hunched in a distant section of a bookstore, having marked their own personal territory with a stack of books they’ve pulled from the shelves for possible purchase. Publishers (content providers) and booksellers (content “enablers”) know that when a consumer takes the time to hold the book and sample several pages of illustrations and then finds an attractive passage or two, the consumer is hooked, and a sale is likely.

Publishers crave the passionate consumer response to the beautifully designed interior, the elegant and smoothly laid out cookbook recipe, the fabulous photographs, the story well-told-passion consummated only when a reader connects with such visual feasts.

This time-honored tradition of having consumers sample books at the point of sale in bookstores or libraries is in no danger of disappearing. There’s no substitute for the sensations consumers want, whether it’s smelling the aroma of bakery-fresh bread, trying on the dress, or “kicking the tires” of that new book. But book consumers have now migrated to the Internet in substantial numbers. And if we know one thing about the Internet-perhaps it’s the only thing about it that we can be sure of-it’s that people love to use it to select the books they will read. But ri…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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