Friday, June 15, 2007

Diversity in the business of publishing

While I was waiting for a coffee I picked up a business magazine and started reading an article extolling the profit virtues of diversity in the marketplace, specifically a diversity in the work force as stimulus to new business and new ideas. It was one of those articles that you wished you could rip out and take away with you.

Diversity is something publishers in general seem to value, presenting something new, different and exciting, and it is something we value at black dog - maybe our size and relative newness gives us a particular opportunity to experiment in distinction to the multis.

(Maybe the alternative story, something fresh, sells better than one supporting the mainstream view. But I wouldn't want to push that argument very far.)

I know we like the story that present a different perspective. A story the presents at least two sides so that each side informs the other, such as Scarecrow Army, or Black Snake, where by the time Carole had finished writing the book she had changed her view of Ned Kelly.

Much as I enjoyed reading Fitzsimmons Kokoda, it reinforced an established Australian story of fighting on the track, and in the end I valued reading Paul Ham's Kokoda book more because it showed me something of the Japanese side, and the diversity and oddities of human behaviour.

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