Know your reader/customer

Bridget ShineI recorded the intro and outro for Episode 77 of The Extraordinary Business Book Club yesterday, which was slightly surreal (you’ll understand why when you listen on Monday), which features an interview with Bridget Shine, CEO of the Independent Publishers Guild in the UK. She’s absolutely at the sharp end of publishing, and it’s a great interview which covers a wide range of topics including how to pitch to independent publishers and where the industry’s heading.

But this thought struck me as particularly interesting – Bridget sees one of the key changes in the industry as the increasing importance of direct marketing and selling for publishers, or, to put it more simply, knowing your customers. And what she says goes for authors of business books just as much as it does for publishers.

‘If you’re publishing books, there’s no substitute for understanding who is your customer, who’s reading these books, and what it means to them. [It’s] so stimulating to talk to people who bought your books and understand why they bought it and what their feedback was. It’s that engagement, that direct engagement, that’s transformative.’