When the book enters the live room

  In the live broadcast room, the anchor Dong Yuhui picked up a copy of "Su Dongpo Biography" written by Lin Yutang, started from the experience of Su Dongpo being demoted to Huangzhou at the age of 44, talked about his own growth experience, and talked about Dongpo meat, and read aloud "Ding Storm". , the book sold 24,000 copies that day.

  In the past month, New Oriental's live broadcast room "Oriental Selection" has suddenly become popular. In addition to agricultural products, books are also an important category sold in this live broadcast room. Some even called Dong Yuhui's popularity as "the birth of a top-notch book seller".

In the past three years, online events and live broadcasts have become important measures for the book publishing industry to deal with the impact of the epidemic. Both publishing institutions and physical bookstores are actively developing cultural "line" fields from the cultural scene.

  The book industry and the live broadcast room, one is an ancient and quiet industry, and the other is the latest and most lively platform. If the medium also has a color spectrum, they correspond to the polarities of cold and heat.

When the book enters the live broadcast room, the content and traffic collide and run in, projecting a multi-dimensional landscape of the times.

  Turn on "Online Mode"

  In 2020, it was still difficult for many people to be proficient in operating online conference software. Now, both students and scholars have learned to turn on the "online mode" and debug cameras and microphones. Many people have become accustomed to " Talk to the screen."

  Just looking at June this year, there were no less than 100 online live broadcast events hosted by publishing institutions.

From June 1st, Shanghai Library has held a number of poetry-themed activities online; on June 21st, Zhang Jihai, deputy editor-in-chief of Zhonghua Book Company, shared the stories of the school-based "Twenty-Four Histories" and "Drafts of Qing History" online; In the past week, the People's Literature Publishing House has launched an online literature lecture on an average of two or three days. The speakers are both writers, scholars, and editors of the publishing house... As a brick-and-mortar bookstore in the downstream of the book industry, it began to explore the live broadcast at the beginning of the epidemic. The mode of goods, on June 12, 2020, in the "Beijing Book Market, Bookstore Night" series of live broadcast events, nearly 100 bookstore live broadcasts in Beijing were launched at the same time, which was the first time that many physical bookstores embarked on a "live broadcast tour".

  Many people wonder, is the traditional book industry entering the live broadcast room actively seeking innovation and change, or passively responding to the impact of the epidemic?

"I don't quite understand. What impact will the epidemic have on publishing houses? Because we can still buy books online as before." During the interview, a staff member of a live broadcast platform asked such a question.

  According to open-book survey data, in the first quarter of 2022, the book retail market turned negative again, with a year-on-year growth rate of -13.28%.

From the perspective of different channels, both the online store and the brick-and-mortar store have had a bad start. The online store channel experienced negative growth for the first time, down 8.34% year-on-year; the brick-and-mortar store channel fell by 29.7% year-on-year, almost returning to the level during the 2020 epidemic.

  Not long ago, the Institute of Publishing Science of Beijing Normal University released a "Questionnaire on the Impact of the Epidemic on the Publishing Industry". In the question "What challenges and opportunities does the epidemic bring?", the most answered is "Sales decline".

The results of the survey also showed that publishing institutions were affected in several aspects such as topic selection, manuscript editing, printing and reproduction, and logistics distribution.

Among them, 47.96% of the editors believed that "communication with the author has been affected, and the topic selection has been significantly reduced", 68.78% believed that "logistics was affected, and the library could not be delivered normally", 56.11% believed that "the editing progress has slowed down and the focus is on." reduced power."

  In response to the impact of the epidemic, the book industry has opened a "live broadcast mode", but it is still in the exploratory stage.

Zhao Yushan, Dean of the Institute of Publishing Science, Beijing Normal University analyzed that at present, the live broadcast activities held by publishing institutions are mainly divided into two categories: online lectures are mainly public welfare and academic in nature, focusing on the social responsibility of the publishing house; It is a way of business marketing, which is still a relatively small part in terms of sales ratio.

  "Book Industry Discussion" after the live broadcast

  Nowadays, online shopping has become an important consumption method for people. In fact, books are the first products to enter the era of e-commerce. Many e-commerce platforms at home and abroad started out with book logistics.

The reason is actually very simple: books have no shelf life, and packaging, transportation, and warehousing and logistics are more convenient.

Despite such a first-time experience of "touching the Internet", the live broadcast of the traditional book industry has not been smooth sailing.

  Last year, the publishing industry, which was pulled into the live broadcast room, experienced a "bitter carnival".

  On September 27, 2021, the anchor Liu Yuanyuan put out the slogan "Revitalize the book industry, live together to build prosperity" in the Douyin live broadcast, bringing high-profile books, and the slogan said "I called half of the Chinese publishing house". He also said that "500,000 books have been prepared to break the price below 10 yuan, 100,000 books are 1 yuan, and the popular books have broken through the price of 'Double Eleven'".

The anchor Liu Yuanyuan's slogan of "selling books for one dollar" has won a lot of attention, but it has ushered in a collective condemnation from the publishing industry.

After the live broadcast, voices such as "Don't let Internet e-commerce companies strangle the book industry for drainage" frequently appeared, and Liu Yuanyuan was interviewed by the regulatory authorities.

She also sighed, "The live broadcast started, and I became a 'sinner' in the book industry."

  "In the long run, whether live broadcast can revitalize the book industry will not be mentioned for the time being, but is it really a healthy prosperity to use breaking prices as the core selling point of sales?" An article in "Publisher" magazine pointed out that this kind of live broadcast selling books " Undoubtedly, drinking poison to quench thirst.”

This live broadcast has sparked extensive discussions in the publishing industry. It is generally believed that this mode of bringing goods with only traffic, gimmicks, and price wars will seriously damage the healthy development of the content industry.

  After this live broadcast discussion, the cooperation between the book industry and commercial live broadcast is more cautious. A more appropriate way is to stay in the publishing circle and reading circle, and reduce the desire to "be out of the circle" and reduce the risk of content being misread.

It is understood that CITIC Publishing House has built its own live broadcast room since 2019, and it is still increasing the number of live broadcasts.

Not long ago, Zhonghua Bookstore and the brick-and-mortar bookstore Commoner Bookstore made an 8-hour live broadcast together.

The run-in between the book industry and the live broadcast room continues.

  The chemical effect of "cultural people bring goods"

  On June 10, "New Oriental Anchor" was on the hot search on Weibo. The video of anchor Dong Yuhui speaking English and talking about poetry in the live broadcast room was reposted and swiped in large numbers. Millions of people entered the "Oriental Selection" live broadcast room and watched " Cultural people bring goods", netizens joked that the rice in the live broadcast room is "cultural rice".

The book industry saw a different network anchor.

  When introducing writer Chi Zijian's representative work "The Right Bank of the Ergun River", Dong Yuhui did not quote any super low prices, nor did he list the awards this book had won, but directly expressed his feelings after reading: "After reading this After the book, a kind of respect and understanding for the living habits of those lovely people in distant places ignited in my heart... I believe that everyone has a peach blossom in their hearts." The live platform shows, "Erguna River" The Right Bank sold 50,000 copies that day, and the People's Literature Publishing House also reposted Dong Yuhui's video on its Weibo account.

Netizen Chu Shiyang said: "After listening to Mr. Dong Yuhui's interpretation, I read this book again last night. From the romantic and bland words, I really felt the power of vitality and the irreplaceable human wisdom of science and technology. It even calmed my anxiety."

  Dong Yuhui's explosion brought traffic and unexpectedly received applause from the book industry.

  "A book can be talked about for two hours, but a basket of potatoes can't." Zhao Yushan believes that books can provide anchors with more topics and stories. Dong Yuhui's live book sales are popular because he chooses products, words, and intentions. In other respects, there are many differences from some previous network anchors. "He presented the right content in the right way on the new stage. He aroused the public's yearning for poetic life and returning to reading by selling books."

  Relevant New Oriental staff told reporters that every book sold in the live broadcast room has been read by the team. In addition, New Oriental has always had a reading culture and advocates that each employee read 15 books a year.

It turns out that when people are confused about "how to sell books live in an era when traffic is king", the answer points to a simple and simple truth - read it.

  Zheng Xiaoyou, a historian and an associate research librarian at the National Library of China, said: "I think it is the essence of a book to let cultural people who understand the platform bring goods, starting from the content, and it is also the core competitiveness over other live broadcast celebrities." Zheng Xiaoyou believes that , Books are not the same as general commodities. They are based on content and have strong professionalism. This requires the anchor to have a certain cultural literacy. Therefore, many publishers like to use their own editors for live broadcasts, and sometimes they also need to pull the author and experts in related fields.

But whether editors or experts, they are obviously not so familiar with the form of live broadcast, and their personalities may be introverted, so they mainly attract insiders.

"And New Oriental already has this type of talent pool: a high degree of education + a full understanding of the psychology of the lecturers + focus on interaction and strong appeal + desire to go out of the circle."

  "Cultural people bring goods" has brought unexpected chemical reactions. Many people in the publishing industry hope to see more "Dong Yuhuis" lecture and sell books, and carry out in-depth cooperation with the traditional book industry. Let’s go back to the old road of price wars and create a benign, relaxed and sustainable environment, so that authors, publishers, sales platforms and readers can win together.

  From the perspective of media culture, Zhao Yushan believes that with the development of emerging media such as the Internet, readers in the traditional book industry have begun to leave and transition. Whether to defend or follow the reader is always a question.

The various stories that happened after the book industry entered the live broadcast room reminded the traditional publishing industry that when dealing with the impact of the epidemic and the pressure of digital transformation, it needs more wisdom and ability, distinguishing what is perseverance and what is innovation, and distinguish what is in the development of the times. Change and change.

  (Reporter Chen Xue of this newspaper)

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