Just in time for another controversy over powerlaw statistics (wheee!), I'm delighted to announce that the paperback version of The Long Tail will be published next week and is now available for preorder.
What's new? Well, along with a new cover, lower price and the usual corrections and updates, it's longer: there's an epilogue on the response to the book (pro and con) and a whole new chapter on Long Tail Marketing.
It's slightly ironic that this new chapter wasn't in the book in the first place, since the marketing implications of the Long Tail are the #1 thing I've been asked to speak about since its publication. But no worries: that just means that I've had more time to think about it ;-)
The marketing chapter is based on one of the overlooked things about the LT: if you're selling things, you don't necessarily need to massively expand your product range to tap LT markets. You can instead just reach the "long tail of customers", which is to say all the potential pockets of demand that don't necessarily lie within your normal marketing channels. This is the smaller potential customers, the ones you don't know about, the ones you never considered and the ones who didn't even think they were potential customers until they heard about your products from someone they know.
The new chapter is subtitled "How to sell where 'selling' doesn’t work" and includes examples that range from how Dell clawed back from its "Dell Hell" customer backlash to the tactical decisions that led Microsoft to let thousand of their employees blog, essentially distributing the PR function to regular folks in the bowels of the company.
For a glimpse of how this form of bottoms-up vs top-down marketing works, here's an earlier post on what I called "Long Tail PR: how to do PR without a press release (or the press)"