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Thursday, 29 March 2012

Save the Bookshop!

Bookshops are an endangered species. No, not a plea for you to patronise them more often. Instead, a suggestion to bookshops about how to boost your profits and stay in business!

Adapt! Evolve! Look at how the software industry does things. No, I know some of you already have websites and my local Waterstones has been offering E-book readers for a couple of years now.

Look instead at how software isn't sold , it's licensed. Microsoft has been profiting from this for years. This means there's no legitimate market for second-hand software! Even better, if a customer changes their computer, they have to buy modern software all over again!

This is the profitable beauty of Digital Rights Management (DRM) and it's time you lot started applying it to dead-tree books. After all, Amazon is doing it with e-books very successfully.

Technology is now available to permanently attach a DRM unit to every book you sell sorry license. The DNA component makes sure that only the legal licensee is reading the book while the GPS system can be programmed to restrict operation to the home. Not only will this stop the profit-sapping second hand market, you will be able to sell enhancements such as the right to read books on trains, during the lunch break at work etc!

There's also another benefit right there on the shelves in your shop! Each book will need to be shrink-wrapped with a notice saying that opening the package binds the book-lover to the terms of the license. If that doesn't deter those irritating “browsers” who have just dropped in to shelter from the rain, nothing will!

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