FINDING TODAY'S TRENDS
Investors search for a way to predict what tomorrow's big winners in the Dow will be. Gamblers are willing to bet everything
they own on the chance that they might win. Little old ladies take their Social Security checks and head for the Bingo parlors.
They are all looking for the same thing: that magical, mystical key to success.
Authors and publishers do the same
thing. They want that million dollar contract, that New York Times best-seller, the sales that net them a place equal to the
spot the John Grishams, Stephen Kings, Nora Roberts and J.K. Rowlings have landed. Yes, they want that appearance on the Oprah
And therein seems to lie the secret. Star* Publish's Marketing Director, Janet Elaine Smith, has made a study, in her
daily calls to bookstore managers, to try to track the trends. Yes, they vary from state to state, from region to region,
but the one thing rings true across the country; everybody reads the books Oprah featrues on her TV program.
From there, though, the reaction varies. When A Million Little Pieces hit the No. 1 best-seller spot on the
NY Times, right after the author was on Oprah, it was not long until the fact that the author was basically a fraud, claiming
the book was a memoir, when in fact it was purely fictional. Did that drive the book to the depths of despair? Actually, it
was quite the opposite. Not only did the sales zoom upward, but it landed him on almost every major program on the TV, including
Larry King Live. One bookstore manager recently remarked, "When people come in now, once in awhile somebody will ask for the
book A Million Little Pieces, but they almost always call it A Million Little Lies. And they are serious!"
The big trend now is The Secret. Oh, yes, it sounds like a wonderful idea. Once it hits Oprah, the corporate
offices start sending the books out to every store--by the case lots. But, many bookstore managers admit that while it sells
quite well, they have stacks and stacks of them that will eventually be returned. Here are some of the comments from bookstore
managers about The Secret:
"It is basically the same thing that Norman Vincent Peale shared in his book, The Power of Positive Thinking, from
"If you turn on Robert Schuller or Joel Osteen on Sunday morning you can hear the same thing--and it's free."
"There was a woman back in the 1920s that wrote a similar book."
"I guess this guy never heard about Moses parting the Red Sea or Jesus walking on the water."
"I read the book to see what the big deal was. Seems to me that he copied an awful lot of other people's writings. He
has a lot of quotes from other sources."
And from the Christian Booksellers Assoc. and some of the top Christian publishers, they admit that there are at least
40 people who are either writing a counter-part to or an argument against The Secret. When something is going well,
it is only natural to want to jump on the bandwagon.
The best comment that came from a bookstore manager was, "I read the book. I tried to swallow what it said. But I can't
figure out, if it really works, how come I still have a cold and I'm not rich and drop-dead gorgeous yet?"
Trends are fine, but in the book industry, as soon as you think you have it all figured out, it has changed and you are
yesterday's news. Star* Publish LLC is proud to admit that we don't follow today's trends; we set them! Vive la difference!