Are People Reading Kanter’s Fantastic Book ‘Move’?

Why didn’t I hear about this book until Dean Dad mentioned it?

October 7, 2015

Move: Putting America's Infrastructure Back in the Lead by Rosabeth Moss Kanter. 

Published in May of 2015.

The only reason I read Rosabeth Moss Kanter’s fantastic Move is that Dean Dad mentioned that he was reading the book.  

Thank you Dean Dad.

How is that I'd never heard of Move?

If you are an transportation / infrastructure geek - like me, and apparently Dean Dad - then you will love Move

There are a lot of transportation / infrastructure geeks.

Folks who thought think that The Big Dig is cool.

Anyone interested in those clean fuel busses, the spread of city bike sharing programs, and the transition to variable demand toll pricing.

How many of you are able to credibly expound on why Amtrak loses money, how come freight rail is a success story, and why the U.S. needs to make long-term investments in high-speed trains?

I bet more than a few, and perhaps even you.

If you love trains and airports and highways and subways and busses and all things transportation then you, like me, will enjoy every minute (or page if you are not an audiobook person) of Move.

But I bet that you have not read Move.  (Am I wrong?)

Move should be finding a big audience, but I’m worried that it is not.

Move is 70,338 on the Amazon Amazon Best Sellers Rank.  I’m trying to figure out how to convert Sales Rank to books sold, and I’m coming up empty. (Can you help?)

But maybe I’m wrong about how many copies of Move are being purchased?  There is a good chance that I’m conflating my never having heard of Move (before Dean Dad’s mention) with the mistaken assumption that the book is not selling well. 

After all, Move is:

#5 in Books > Engineering & Transportation > Engineering > Civil & Environmental > Transportation

#12 in Books > Business & Money > Processes & Infrastructure > Infrastructure

#16 in Books > Business & Money > Industries > Transportation

Compare Move to Benedict Carey’s excellent (and widely discussed) book How We Learn: The Surprising Truth About When, Where, and Why It Happens.  (September 2014).

Here are the numbers for How We Learn:

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #82,653 in Books

#81 in Books > Self-Help > Memory Improvement

#136 in Books > Education & Teaching > Studying & Workbooks > Study Skills

#467 in Books > Science & Math > Behavioral Sciences > Cognitive Psychology

Move no doubt got a boost from a favorable review in the NYTimes. 

Could Norton be doing more to promote Move?

Why is that Amazon did not recommend Move to me, as my book buying history makes me the ideal candidate to buy the book?

Is this a story of Amazon’s dominant market power in digital books?  (I read Move as an audiobook from Audible).  Is this a story of how books can disappear unless publishers pay-to-play for Amazon promotion?  (Can someone explain how Amazon decides which books to promote, and how this promotion works across Amazon and Audible?).

The reason that I read Move is that Dean Dad is reading Move.  Have publishers done enough to understand and leverage the power of peer recommendations, and the amplifying potential of social media?

What is the academic discipline that studies the book market?

Can you recommend a good book on the publishing business?

What are you reading?



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