Millennial Writers and the Fate of Book Industry


Writers from the millennial generation are expected to be motor of the rise of book industry which almost 'dead' or helpless to face the changing technological era so quickly.

Young writers are not only considered to understand the context and content of book writing for the current largest market segment, millennial generation, but are also seen as having a new approach that changes the paradigm of the book industry itself from upstream to downstream.

Marcella, an Indonesian writer representing the millennial generation, shared her experience with Kompas.com about the creative process of her latest book " Nanti Kita Cerita Tentang Hari Ini" (NKCTHI).

This NKCTHI book carries out extraordinary achievements; within 1 minute 1,000 books have been sold, even though the book is still in the pre-order stage. Pre-2nd order, this book records sales of 6 thousand books in 7 minutes!

Not stopping there, the NKCTHI book was already in its 3rd print even before the book was officially released and recorded sales of 50 thousand (12th print) in less than 1 month after the NKCTHI was officially released.

This Bina Nusantara University graduate gave a new meaning to the word 'writer' in the book industry in this millennial era.

"In the past, the author focused only on ideas, writing and submitting to publisher after it was finished. I involved myself in the whole process starting from what material research the readers want to read, the writing process, build closeness with readers through social media, to the marketing process and even distribution, "said Checel, Marcella's nickname.

At the beginning of the creative process, Marcella has built bonds with prospective readers through social media to know exactly what content will interest her book later. "Before writing, I already knew very well who my reader segment was and how much my book would be absorbed by the market," he continued.

Close to the millennial world

Raising issues that are close to the millennial generation is also one of the recipes in attracting the biggest market today.

"There are 3 book factors that can be accepted by the market today; First is 'light'. Light does not mean it is not deep but easy to digest. Second, packaging is everything now, and the last is the book about 'me'," Eko Prabowo explained (Compass Product Marketing Manager).

Of the 35 best-selling books at Kompas Gramedia, Eko added, books are close to everyday life and millennial generations. "There is one cookbook, very popular even though it is not written by a chef. Only by ordinary housewives, but has many followers on social media accounts," said Eko.

The same thing was conveyed by Pangestuningsih (CEO of Publisher Noura Mizan). She said, there was one parenting book that was able to sell up to 11 thousand books through WhatsApp groups in the parenting community.

"The book 'Dilan' published by the best-selling Mizan Group is actually a 90s-era story made with a millennial approach," Pangestuningsih continued.

Responsibility for safeguarding civilization

Related to that, Eko Prabowo conveyed the need to reform the book industry production method. Era of information makes it easy for writers to finalize their writing ideas to produce books that are needed and accepted by the market.

However, the change in the paradigm of book industry in millennial era is expected not to make this industry lose its idealism and social responsibility.

"This NKCTHI book not only bring business aspect to all derivative products. I hope this book can be the answer to the millennial generation's anxiety with all its problems. I hope this book will trigger the millennial generation to return to love and return to bookstores, "hope Marcella.

Ninok Leksono, author and Chancellor of UMN said, "As writers, we must dare to deconstruct books. Previously books were considered to be of good quality if they could 'stand up'. Standing meant they could be established because the number of pages was 700 pages."

This is certainly not in accordance with the current generation. According to him our society is a society with "viewing culture" and not "reading culture". "But we still have to be balanced, balanced in the economic element but still carry out the task as a writer: building civilization."

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