THE DEATH OF BORDERS AND MY BOOK-BUYING PRACTICES
"[...] if other readers are changing their behavior in the same way that I am, then it is clear that major booksellers course is set, and that they are not long for this world. I have struggled with this. I love books and bookstores have been the traditional home of books for centuries. That they are disappearing is sad. But ask yourself: what is a bookstore? In its simplest form, a bookstore is a place that sells books. Amazon, therefore, is a bookstore. Apple’s iBooks is a bookstore. Fictionwise is a bookstore. In this sense, the landscape is changing, evolving, but bookstores are still around in their new form." Jamie Rubin | @jamietr
BYE BYE, BORDERS: DO WE STILL NEED BRICK-AND-MORTAR BOOKSTORES?
"Like every other aspect of the media, the bookselling industry continues to adjust to changing consumer habits and the stark economics of online delivery. But even while the big chains like Borders are suffering, there has been growth on the independent front. Last year, there were 1,825 independent sellers with membership to ABA -- an increase of 5% to 7% from 2009. Smith attributes that rise to an increasing emphasis on local and community business along with a partnership between the ABA and Google Books. But do we need bookstores? Not really, if all we're talking about is access to books or information." Daily Finance
BOOKS WITHOUT BORDERS
"The Borders firesale, then, may not be the end of the book world. It does, however, contribute to what Edwards blandly identified as the “changing book industry.” As Dealbook noted yesterday, many publishing houses employ people who work directly, and only, with Borders. Will these people be reassigned or face layoffs now that a rather large hole has opened in the marketplace? Another angle that’s being floated: maybe the independent bookstores that have held out during Borders’ forty-year run will now benefit from the closing, and, a larger point, reëmerge as the primary model for selling printed books to a dwindling but dedicated niche audience." The New Yorker
BOOKSTORES. OR NEW ONLINE VENTURES, OPERATING AS THE MATCHMAKERS OF THE BOOK ECOSYSTEM
"A book requires you to give over the inside of your head for several hours to another person's voice, whispering in your ear. It's a remarkably intimate act, one that people are not going to entrust to a Buy X Get Y algorithm. The power of Oprah's Book Club, after all, lay not just in its ratings but in the intimacy of Oprah's relationship with her fans. Where will we find all the mini-Oprahs we need to connect writers and readers? Bookstores can and should be sites for this conversation. Increasingly, the good ones are places where people seeking deeper engagement with their culture and society choose to congregate." CNN | @r_nash
CROWD-FOUNDING BOOKS: A NOVEL IDEA
"The business needs fresh ideas. Enter Unbound, a British effort to “crowd-fund” books. Visitors to its website can pledge money for a book that is only part-written. If enough money is raised, the author can afford to finish it—and the pledgers will get a copy. Having launched in May, the firm announced its first success on July 18th. Terry Jones, of Monty Python fame, has secured the funds to finish a book of quirky stories. Handsome edited volumes and e-books will follow." The Economist
"WE READERS JUST HAVE TO BE A BIT MORE PROACTIVE NOW THAN WE WERE IN THE PAST"
"If you’re a traditionally published author, expect a disappointing royalty statement for the six months covering the third quarter of 2011. Expect to hear doom and gloom from your traditional publishers. But remember, things are changing—and they’re changing for everyone. If your publisher blames you for the decline, look at that statement with a jaundiced eye. Realize that everyone will sell fewer copies through traditional venues in this quarter." The Business Rusch | @KristineRusch
LOOKING INTO THE FUTURE OF BOOKSTORES: 4 ANGLES
"My point is that the idea of what makes up reading is changing. Books are going to be read with increasingly more convenient digital devices, and much of the nature of libraries and bookstores are going to change and even go away.That’s not a bad thing, and it should not be breaking news for people who are following things with a clear eye. The fear of what the future brings takes over most people who think about books and reading and writing in a way I can’t understand or explain, other than to say it has something to do with nostalgia and not a small dash of privileging one’s experience over what will soon be another’s. As well as keeping one’s job." Writer's Digest | @JaneFriedman