Will Nelson Mandela’s Death Boost the Publishing Industry?

Hello  my appreciated readers.

Yesterday when I announced our competition I promised some controversial posts you could relish in as fuel for active commentating. Well, this post is my attempt to do so as you may have gathered from the title.

In this post I want to make a couple statements about Mr. Mandela, my industry and how the two are related. When I’m referring to my industry, I’m of course talking about authoring books and the author publishing those books themselves.

As background to this post; in the last week South Africa and basically all of the Western world have been holding its breath because former President Nelson Mandela was in hospital for a collapsed lung. It had apparently appeared because of an infection in the respiratory system. This panic all over the world got started by an irresponsible Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, who after seeing a photo of Madiba commented on him not seeing the former president so weak before.

The following is why I thought to post regarding this issue. You won’t believe how many millions of Tweeps posted tweets on Mandela. In fact, it has been a trending topic for days. And the big buzz was basically RIP’ing him and being all somber. I, of course, spent quite a bit of time (which I don’t normally do) on Twitter after that reassuring people that he is still very much alive. Maybe he needs lots of rest but he still lives. If you Google the words ‘South Africa’, ‘Siener’ and ‘Prophecy’ you will see why his death is such a big issue – especially to the Afrikaner nation. I personally think it’s a false prophecy but you can imagine the implications of his death for South Africans. Upon me spending time on Tiwtter I got quite a few retweets and @messages, not to mention extra followers – all good for my account, of course. Which brings me to the arguement.

When Nelson Mandela dies it would obviously be devastating to millions of people. Now, I think that a lot of books, if not hundreds, will surface about Mandela, his thoughts, his life etc. Many of them unauthorized, of course. How many of those books do you think will be self published? Not a lot, if at all. Why do I say that? Well, because publishing houses will absolutely jump at every opportunity to publish a Mandela book; major marketing campaigns etc. Heck, I even think they will commission some   ghostwriters to write books from prominent members of the global society like Desmond Tutu – even though he will have written nothing. I only make predictions when I am absolutely sure about it -  and I am sure about this. It will be so viable for our industry it will revive paperbacks and there will even be dedicated sections to Mandela in some libraries across the world.

There will be a massive rise in sales of Mandela specific books and a 100 years from now only will you see a Mandela book in a bargain bin at your local Wall-Mart.

My questions to you are: How much do you think his death will impact book sales and publishing deals? Do you also think there will be exploitation of his death by mega publishing corporations? And will people care after 10 years, after the money has been made and the world got a new messiah to worship.

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Ivin Viljoen.

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About Ivin Viljoen

Ivin Viljoen is the Editor-in-Chief of Authopublisher, an award winning blogger and recent father of a beautiful baby boy.

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4 Responses to “Will Nelson Mandela’s Death Boost the Publishing Industry?”

  1. Very Interesting Article! I’ve been blogging for quite some time and this is a definite article that will help me with information when it comes to publishing! I have always wanted to publish some of my writing and allow people to access it for free that’s where blogging has allowed me to do that! Great Article! Can’t wait to read more of what you have to say!
    Jake H recently posted..Ironman Gravity 1000 Inversion TableMy Profile

  2. Thanks for stopping by at my blog, the Profitable Publisher. I see that we think in similar ways, and would like to see publishers taking more of a role in combatting the knee-jerk, emotion-driven over-reactions that seem to be so common.

    I hope you’re able to make headway. I think that the world would be a better place if we all took the rabble-rousers to task, no matter what political point of view they support.

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  2. Authopublisher: Weekly Wrap Up 4 Feb 2011 | Authopublisher - February 5, 2011

    [...] Will Nelson Mandela’s Death Boost The Publishing Industry? When Nelson Mandela dies it would obviously be devastating to millions of people. Now, I think that a lot of books, if not hundreds, will surface about Mandela, his thoughts, his life etc. Many of them unauthorized, of course. How many of those books do you think will be self published? Not a lot, if at all. Why do I say that? Well, because publishing houses will absolutely jump at every opportunity to publish a Mandela book; major marketing campaigns etc. Heck, I even think they will commission some   ghostwriters to write books from prominent members of the global society like Desmond Tutu – even though he will have written nothing. [...]

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