A book lover – an old book lover – apparently a scholar, was lashing on the gen-X (or Y… I mean the youngistan) in my favourite newspaper ‘The Hindu (Which takes pride in being slow and steady. Nonetheless it has been the first one to introduce a lot of technologies e.g. color pics, online edition.), “They have 100 rupees for burger but they do not have it for Books.” I was slightly amused. Which book will come in for 100 rupees? (Gray market? Yes, If you read pulp fiction.). And there was a marketing clue.
Perhaps, He is not alive to see this day. Apparently after the colossal success of Chetan Bhagat, “5 Point someone”, there are now a lot of books in market which would cost you less that 100 rupees – like a Burger. They are cheap, they are indeed tasty and its effect on the health are not to be discussed, like burger.
A book store manager was quoted recently as saying, “See, you need total different marketing strategy for Chetan and Shobha de. [pause] Actually …. to market all the books which are with under Rs 100 tag.” May be, he meant supply-demand curve. What you say? Hungry kya?
Apparently, in a time, where there are few wbsites forcing you to think in tweets, it is not surprising to see these burger-books are marketed as literature. Why not do it if burger can be marketed as diet. Market them well before they goes out of novelty. However, as far as I can see, relationship of book-selves and burger books is no longer that a typical Hollywood relationship (There are fews which last longer. Why? Another curious case!).
Meanwhile, OUP introduced “A very short introduction to …..” series which by the way cost you somewhere around pizza, like all of paperback editions. But they are not burger or pizza books. They are just lean books. A nice initiative, esp for lay(wo)man, saves time and gives you the best (prominent) of the subject.