Saturday, January 7, 2012

Barnes & Noble

I don't wish to be an alarmist type of guy, except with my tales of horror, of course, but I was reading an article the other day that mentioned the five prime candidates for businesses that won't be around in five years. Number one on the list was Barnes & Noble. I have many friends working in my local Barnes & Noble, and I certainly don't want to see them out of work. However, when I walk into the store and see the Nook display at the store entrance instead of the latest releases, it says something to me. Also, there are a lot less books on the shelves, including those from some of my old favorite authors.

The same as with Borders, B&N failed to see what happened in the industry. They'll pay the price.

I see a rebound in local Indie book stores which will fill the needs of the community around them. They, for the most part, will be smaller than those of the past, but will include more works from local authors to spark the interest of their patrons. Obviously, this is good for small press and Indie authors. 

One other thing I see is the demise of the Big Six. Without the big stores ordering their books, the air will be let out of their balloons. They can't expect to charge what they charge for paper and ebooks and hope to stay around for long.

So what then? Amazon? Sure, Amazon will be huge, but they are not the only game in town. Smashwords, DriveThru fiction, and others are out there. I realize it's tempting to always think Kindle and Amazon, especially in light of their new offerings, but if we allow them to be the only outlets for our books, they might  start working more for their own interests and less for ours. Profits are a huge motivator.

My thinking says to be creative and don't put all your eggs in one basket. It's a lot more difficult to take back what belongs to us than to see it doesn't get to that stage.

Happy writing!



  1. Thought provoking post! I do have to say I would rather see small indie bookstores than the giant booksellers. Too often there is no customer service in them.


  2. I so agree, Stacey! The big chains knocked out a lot of Mom and Pop stores in the past. Now the shoe is on the other foot. And THEY have service.


  3. I would agree with Stacey. I hadn't thought of it that way. I think there's a fear of not only the demise of the bigger box bookstores (and my condolences for your friends working there), but also the elimination of indie bookstores. But perhaps this isn't the case. I certainly wouldn't mind seeing this kind of revolution in bookstores, and I think many indie bookstore owners would agree.

    Definitely agree on diversifying your eggs. I'm actually looking into starting up a small indie horror e-bookstore that will offer authors a little higher percentage than Amazon. With limited resources, it will obviously be small to start, but I'll keep you posted.

    Paul D. Dail A horror writer's not necessarily horrific blog

  4. Diversification is certainly a good idea, Paul. I love the idea of community Indie stores. I remember the good old days when that was the norm. The sales staff knew what you liked to read and could make suggestions to you. And not always are Indie stores small. There are a number of larger stores handling Indie books in cities such as Denver.

  5. Good point, Blaze. I recall when Blockbuster hit town, everyone wanted to go to the sexy "hollywood"-looking store and abandoned the mom and pops, thus driving them all out of business. Suddenly Blockbuster could jack up the prices!
    It's definitely a concern.


  6. Gaynor saw this before any of us, Jimmy, and I'm sure that's one of her reasons she went with Smashwords and DriveThru. She certainly made me think of how I wanted to go.