Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Why Are Bookstores Dying? ~or~ How To Understand The “News” About Books…

In all the frenzy of damning Amazon for its success in the book business, many apologists for publishers and bookstores completely forget the Reader

Many also use what should be the “News” to spread propaganda

I’ve written a few posts about the US Department of Justice’s suit against Big Publishers that I feel can help folks understand what’s really going on.

Recently, a US Senator began railing against the DOJ—Senator says Apple e-book suit could destroy publishing industry.

I wonder who’s got whom in their pocket

O.K., so that’s one story.

Then we have the case of Tim Waterstone bemoaning the crisis of his bookstore chain—How We Lost Bookshops Thanks to Amazon and Publishers.

Two stories written, a day apart, this month.

One might be led to think bookstores are all going to die because of Evil Corporations and the Poor Reader will not have any books to read

Naturally, there are scads of articles out there that try to scare folks into believing books are going away and all the reader will have left is the Slush Pile called E-Books.

Part of the title of this post brings up understanding the News.

I feel the first thing to understand is the World we’re living in—going through immense change—a global tipping-point—reeling under the chaos engendered by old business models that don’t want to die and make room for the Future.

So, the News is full of propaganda by the old order

The reason I said the World is at a tipping-point is that the new order is very much alive and kicking.

The third story (published in the same time-frame as the other two)—Some good news for the book business.

Let me quote a bit:

“While e-book revenues have more than doubled in the past year and surpassed print to become the dominant format for adult fiction, print continued to account for the vast majority of publishing sales…”

“…bricks-and-mortar retail still ranked as the No. 1 sales channel for books in 2011, accounting for 31.5 percent of total book sales…”

“…despite the growing dominance of Amazon and the shuttering of Borders, bricks-and-mortar stores continue to be the primary method of getting books into the hands of customers.”


Are the bookstores that are dying tied to the wrong apron strings?

Is the book industry that exists off the Web evolving into fewer but more innovative stores?

And, where do the libraries come into the equation?

Did you know that libraries help publishers sell books?

How can the Reader be empowered to help shape the future of books?

What’s your take on all this?
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3 responses to “Why Are Bookstores Dying? ~or~ How To Understand The “News” About Books…

  1. Joselie January 5, 2013 at 5:09 pm

    I can’t sympathize with bookstores. In a capitalist world, there has to be a winner and a loser. Not everyone can be a winner. You are either the leader or the follower.

    My rule has always been, “know your limitations and fix them”. Your biggest competition is not really the company whose business model is exactly like yours, its the company that can do what you didn’t do. For instance, Hollywood Video was never much of a threat to Blockbuster. But Blockbuster rested on their laurels never bothering to improve their flaws and what happened? A company that sold the same product as them but was introduced but instead of using the same business model, used something different, one that improved on the flaws of the old model.


  2. Pingback: Will All The Bookstores Die? | Notes from An Alien

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