Italian publisher has a generally positive trend among the young and the youngest, those customer segments that, born and grown up in the digital age and are using new technologies. However, one of the main obstacles to the recruitment of new readers and to get the loyalty of bookworms is the lack of appealing editorial products that meet the expectations of the public. In particular, the commercial success of quality independent publications is hold back by a fairly widespread tendency among writers to become self-referential in the conception, development and finalization of the work. Innovative strategies, ideas and tools, also based on digital technologies, could stimulate authors and the public to express and welcome mutual expectations, enhancing the personality and creativity standing out the writer.
"Io sono cultura- 2017" report of Fondazione Symbola has shown that 57.6% of the population in Italy does not read. It is not a coincidence that Italy is the European country where people read less, and the phenomenon is constantly growing. According to recent data, in Italy there are over 4 million non-book readers more than in 2010, the percentage increases to +6.8%. Should these data be interpreted as a temporary abandonment of reading, an exodus to other forms of entertainment, a cultural catastrophe with serious effects in the long term or an incentive that opens up new market prospects?
Men (64.5% compared to 51.1% of women) and elderly people are non-readers and they live in the South of Italy, where are 69.2% of non-readers, 13% more than in the Centre and 19% more than in the North. However, it is appropriate to consider that non-readers have increased among the most culturally “disadvantaged” categories and above all among people with affluent cultural consumption, those who go to the cinema or theatre, museums, exhibitions, concerts, read newspapers, use Internet and new technologies. For example, among people who attended three or more types of shows outside home (including cinema, theatres, museums, went to exhibitions and monuments) there were 28.2% of non-readers in 2016, while they were 21.7% in 2010. Among people using Internet every day, there are 45.6% of non-readers while they were 30.9% in 2010. There’s 47.7% (33.2% in 2010) of non-readers among those who carry out communication and socialization activities on Internet. However, one of the main obstacles to the recruitment of new readers and to the loyalty of bookworms is the lack of appealing editorial products that meet the expectations of the public. In particular, the commercial success of quality independent publications is held back by a fairly widespread tendency among writers to become self-referential in the conception, development and finalization of the work.
Publishing house for young people and the youngest shows generally a positive trend in Italy. In fact, according to what was reported by the Fondazione Symbola, the specialized bookstores for this target segment increased to 10.7%. In a very short time the literature for young people has almost doubled the number of releases. Another element that contributes to this positive trend is the growth in the sale of rights abroad, especially for children's books. The interception of public expectations has become a fundamental point in the business model, especially for small independent publishers who, unlike large publishers, cannot exploit widespread distribution channels to reach a vast pool of readers. New strategies are therefore emerging to capture public expectations and change the publishers' business model. An example is the "Bookolico" platform for selling ebooks: the final price of the title is not established by the actual cost of the product, but is linked to the value that the public recognizes at work. This is a new sale model based on a meritocratic price level. The reader gains importance by being a possible talent scout, able to discover and enhance the next literary phenomenon. The authors have the opportunity to "filter" the contents of the work, with the same importance, satisfying the expectations of the public and thus stimulating its commercial success.
People able to analyse the publishing market and to develop strategies, ideas and innovative tools are required to enhance the commercial success of the works that the publisher offers especially to young people and the youngest. Getting back to reading and the recruitment of new bookworms can also pass through strategies, ideas and innovative digital tools that stimulate authors and the public to express and accept mutual expectations, enhancing the personality and creativity that stands out the writer.