Weeks (!) ago I was sent one of the first hundred, not for distribution, copies of "The Long Tail" for a promise to post its review in a blog post. After numerous short reading sessions, the promise is finally fulfilled. Behold the review of "The Long Tail" by Chris Anderson.
First, the book itself. It is a medium formatted, soft-cover book of 226 pages. The font is easy to read and book paper is pleasant to handle. But the contents is what makes it a book, right?
In case you haven't heard of The Long Tail yet, here is some background:
- it all started from an article in the Wired magazine
- the concept of The Long Tail takes into account the lesser known products, which there are many more than hits
- there also is a blog, The Long Tail, where the book and the concept is discussed (ran by Chris Anderson, of course)
In general, the book seems to be the detailed version of the Wired article. It starts by explaining the nature of popular products (hits) and less popular products (the Tail). Then it comes down to the origin of the Long Tail, gives several detailed examples and also covers marketing effects of the Long Tail.
It also describes how the Long Tail principle has existed and changed our life. There are a couple of chapters on how the Long Tail approach helps businesses and the future of the Long Tail.
Basically, any information you need or an answer to a question you want to ask about the Long Tail, can be found in the book.
What interested me was not only a very in-depth, precise description of the Long Tail principle, but also marketing implications of the Long Tail. For instance, the author explains not only why the Long Tail appeared, but also how anyone can ride the wave in the new market.
For instance, the book answered the question that always interested me: does the Long Tail add customers or evenly distribute them over product sales, or both? Naturally, the book also answers other similarly intricate questions in great detail.
In my opinion, the Long Tail concept, namely the fact of announcing it worldwide, has given a great impact to the markets in a positive direction. I am quite sure innovative marketers started thinking of new ways of developing and marketing products, because, frankly, I was doing that while reading the book.
The book is not just informational, it is mind changing. Once you read about the Long Tail concept, your views on the world economy and market will never be the same - you will have a deeper look and a wider reach on the nature of things.
To be more precise, you'll know the answers to following questions once you read the book:
- what is "The Long Tail"?
- why the Long Tail appeared?
- how does the Long Tail affect me?
- will the Long Tail help me grow my business?
- what product do I need to develop to market with the Long Tail?
- will my business survive if I don't follow the Long Tail?
- what is the role of consumers in the Long Tail?
- is it just a buzz or a constant? or both?
- was this book worth buying?
Of course, the above questions are what I remembered, but there are many more answers in the books to unlimited number of questions that may arise.
Now you may be thinking. Is the book worth reading or not?
I won't tell you a thing - you need to decide for yourself. But if you are serious about marketing, you should consider learning the Long Tail concept, because this is the path to go by in the nearest marketing future.
You can go to Amazon to read reviews of other people and/or buy the book.
P.S. "How does this relate to websites?" you may think. Trust me, it does.