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'Communicating with readers'

2 October 2006

'Publishers need to make their sites more welcoming and rewarding to those tiny percentages of readers who do visit. They need to nurture these audiences and build them up, organically, to become loyal customers. And that means adding value that they're not getting on the high street or from Amazon - in the form of content. Publishers aren't going to get rich from sales made on their sites. But the opportunity is to create a relationship with consumers, and to use that relationship to generate better market information on both sides.

Communicating with readers is how you will sell more books, and for the moment the best channels of communications are not in publishers' control - but they so easily could be. It's time publishers took their relationships with consumers out of the "too hard" box.'

Peter Collingridge, MD of Apt Studio Ltd in the Bookseller