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Can we ask for feedback on the Mumsnet Books please?

(132 Posts)
JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 23-Nov-09 14:33:13

Just had a meeting with the publisher and they are not, shall we say, flying off the shelves despite the fact that everyone who reads them says how brilliant/funny they are. Sales via MN particularly are pretty poor.

So - can you give us some pointers as to why you aren't buying/recommending these utterly marvellous books, packed full of MN wisdom please?

Have you heard about them - do we need to shout more? Or do you feel you don't need them, because you've got MN at your fingertips, or, perish the thought perhaps you just don't like the look of them?

StealthPolarBear Mon 23-Nov-09 14:38:16

Well I didn't buy the pg one because when it came out i was heavily pregnant and it was almost over.
Why haven't I bought the toddler one...not sure. I might do I suppose. I do think there is an attitude on here that MN is better than books and that it's a mistake to buy a book on child rearing - I agree, certainly when it comes to breastfeeding. Of course that doesn't apply to the MN books (as they are compiled from posts on MN) but once people are out of the habit of buying books...

supersalstrawberry Mon 23-Nov-09 14:39:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

supersalstrawberry Mon 23-Nov-09 14:40:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Ewe Mon 23-Nov-09 14:44:03

I have the toddler book, my in-laws got it for me last Christmas, probably wouldn't have bought it for myself as I know I can ask on here or search archives about specific issues. Book is currently in bedside table cabinet, haven't really referred to it since initial read through though despite it being a good book. It's just not how I get most of my parenting information these days.

I think it's a really tough market with some already very established brands in. Most people on Mumsnet have been through pregnancy or find it when already pregnant as I did - by then, I had already bought pregnancy books so wouldn't have bought another one.

LadyBlaBlah Mon 23-Nov-09 14:53:29

I have always thought these "guide to's" were somewhat of a paradox. MN seems to have a particular ethos towards parenting manuals, which specifically was demonstrated with the Gina Ford fiasco, and thus it has always struck me as odd that MN itself has released a guide to parenting.

Not sure that helps at all, but may explain why MN parents don't tend to buy?

DanDruff Mon 23-Nov-09 14:57:52

i dotn buy as kids are past it and I am an uber parent.

i liked HTT too

notwavingjustironing Mon 23-Nov-09 14:59:44

By virtue of the fact that we all post here - for help and advice, I would say it's easier to get real "live" answers to your question, rather than trawl through a book.

I probably would have looked at them when I was pregnant as I was convinced that all I had to do was buy the "right" book and all would be well <<naive>>, My children are too old now for parenting manuals and I am too cynical grin

PrincessToadstool Mon 23-Nov-09 15:00:35

Nearly £8 on Amazon - s'alot IMO

Am I right in thinking that the content is made up of MN posts?

QandA Mon 23-Nov-09 15:03:12

Mumsnet itself has all the answers for free, so I would see no need, especially as you can post a question directly related to your own baby/child and have a range of answers in a very short space of time.

The problem is MNers, who would appreciate the style and content, don't need it and those that would probably use them, don't know about them.

PrincessToadstool Mon 23-Nov-09 15:05:18

Actually if I were pregnant I'd probably buy the pregnancy one and be interested in the babies one - but with a 2yo the toddler one just does not appeal - no books on toddlers do - I don't need anecdotes (whereas in pregnancy, partic first pregnancy, other peoples stories are interesting, and reading about babies is probably nice enough) - I am either getting along fine, or having a problem which needs advice in which case I... come here.

PrincessToadstool Mon 23-Nov-09 15:06:09

I also have the impression that it will be like reading MN of 1/2/3 (???) years ago, IYSWIM?

elkiedee Mon 23-Nov-09 15:14:04

I bought the first MN pregnancy book when I was first pregnant, and like others the new one is probably a bit late for most of us. I have bought the toddler one.

Perhaps one thing we could do is all put the mn books in our library's suggestion book - my local library's parenting shelves are mostly filled with really out of date books though I do have Baby Led Weaning out from there.

Maybe as well, MN could look into marketing the books to libraries, though you might have to think about timing as this possibly isn't the best time of year for it (getting late in the financial year and money running out) - or bookshops.

Cadmum Mon 23-Nov-09 15:21:18

I am glad that you are asking because I am finding the answers fascinating.

Dh recently asked me if I would be interested in owning one and I was surprised to find that the only reason I might consider buying one would be to support MN...

In my defense, I parent by feel rather than according to a manual and I love being able to ask a question on MN and have a variety of answers in 'real time'.


Agree that general mn consensus seems to be 'Don't read the bloody books'.

Was really suprised you did them at all tbh.

The thing is I don't think mnetters will buy them because we mumsnet.

And I don't think non-mnetters would buy them because they wouldn't know what the hell they were and would rather buy a book from a 'name' ie GF <<shudders>>

Sorry, that's quite a bleak picture isn't it?

Tbf you asked afaikr you asked us all about captions and pictures but I don't remember you ever asking if it was a good idea.winkgrin

TheDevilWearsPrimark Mon 23-Nov-09 15:29:12

Have you got them in lbrarys? I tend to find If I like a book I take out I'll buy it to keep.

Also there's the fact your main market is mumsnetters who already know much more advice and support can be got on here than from any book.

Don't know why there is an extra 'you asked' in that last sentence, sorry.

CMOTdibbler Mon 23-Nov-09 15:36:30

I bought the toddler one, but tbh, just to support MN really.

I won't be buying the others as neither pg or owner of a baby, and won't be either.

Our teeny tiny library does have them tho

TeamTrueBlood Mon 23-Nov-09 15:38:13

I was given the toddler one, and although I enjoyed reading it, it hasn't actually been any help (possibly because Flameboy is a git)

The pregnancy one I bought due to wanting matching books blush, but I felt it didn't read as well, plus I'm still sulking at 2 pages dedicated to cravings (unimportant issue) and a piddly 19 words about antenatal depression (very important issue).

As to why they aren't selling... you can't get em in waterstones for a start. I don't tend to buy random books online unless they have been recommended to me - I need to flick through, which rl shops are they in?

Plus (although this doesn't really help you now), the title of "mumsnet guide to..." makes it sound like some sort of companion book rather than an actual advice book. I would expect a dr who or top gear guide book, whereas <don't hurt me> "contented little baby" you kind of know what you're meant to get at the end.

Does any of that make sense?

ZippysMum Mon 23-Nov-09 15:39:03

I agree with Where the Wild Things Were.

MNers won't buy it because they get their answers from MN.

(Though I might buy the Toddler one as I won't have time to waste research on MN with twin toddlers....)

TeamTrueBlood Mon 23-Nov-09 15:39:08

Oh ffs I'm going to change my name back to normal or it looks like I am some random person calling Flameboy a git.

preggersplayspop Mon 23-Nov-09 15:45:03

I haven't bought them because I bought several books after the birth of DS1 and found them really soul destroying at times. I found the really helpful advice was here on mumsnet in the plethora of different experiences that people have had which can be searched in the archives.

I ended up chucking out most of my books and vowing not to rely on 'experts', but to look to mumsnet for help when I needed it. So even though its a mumsnet book, its still a book.

BecauseImWorthIt Mon 23-Nov-09 15:46:01

Well, at the age of 50 and with teenagers, neither of these books was of particular relevance to me!

That said, I'm surprised they're not selling. I'm definitely a 'can I get a book about it' kind of person (as well as a 'let me ask the nutters Mumsnet about it' kind of person).

My only comment is that they are not especially well branded books. There is no Mumsnet logo on the front, and I think just the word 'Mumsnet' lacks something of the punch of your brand.

BitOfFun Mon 23-Nov-09 15:53:59

Because my kids are older. I would buy one on Special Needs, or teenagers though. I suppose that would be to support MN as much as anything though.

I think that Book-Learners are sniffy about websites, and Surfers think books are clunky and expensive. Hige generalisation, but some truth in it to explain why people aren't buying it.

fruitshootsandheaves Mon 23-Nov-09 16:05:51

can you give us some pointers as to why you aren't buying/recommending these utterly marvellous books, packed full of MN wisdom

because I'm not pregnant nor likely to be again and neither do I have any toddlers.
Basically i am old and past it, sorry

maybe you should do a 'best bits of webchats' book or a guide to 'things to do at a penguin enclosure'

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