There’s a huge range of opinions out there when it comes to the future of bookstores.
I’ve been asking fellow authors, publishing insiders, book bloggers, and others about the future of bookstores. With the ever-growing strength of ebooks, the closing of the Borders chain, and Barnes and Nobles’ struggles against Amazon’s market domination, what will bookstores do?
These 3 authors each have a singular point of view about books and bookstores, some of which may surprise you. Read the full set of responses from 25 authors here.
Bob Mayer, author of the SHADOW WARRIORS series, the GREEN BERETS series, the AREA 51 series and numerous other action-adventure titles, http://writeitforward.wordpress.com/
Bookstores? Like publishers, agents and others in the business, most failed to have a strategic business plan. Did they watch what happened to music stores starting in 2001 when digital tsunamied that industry? No.
For the future? Embrace genre authors. Frankly, the snobbish attitude I’ve encountered over the years from many indie stores leaves me unconcerned about their future as they were unconcerned about mine. Can they change that attitude in time? Will they order and rack POD books via Createspace from authors like me and others who’ve embraced the future? Or will they whine that Amazon is their deadly enemy and continue that futile, and stupid, battle? As Jeff Bezos said: “Complaining is not a strategy.” The bottom line is that authors will totally support bookstores when that support is extended the other way. Email to author, 4 December 2013.
Dale Brown, author of FLIGHT OF THE OLD DOG, DALE BROWN’S DREAMLAND, etc., www.dalebrown.info/index02.htm
I haven’t been in a bookstore to buy a book since I discovered Amazon Books in 1996.
I don’t think book sales will be much affected by whatever happens to brick-and-mortar bookstores because it’s so easy and convenient to get a book these days, and with the Internet you don’t need to browse through a bookstore’s shelves to find a new release from a favorite author–Facebook, Twitter, a Web site, or the blogosphere will inform you.
My Mom and my in-laws would certainly have disagreed with me and continued going to bookstores or Wal-Mart every couple weeks to see what’s new…until they got their Kindles. Now their e-readers are constant companions, getting a book is as simple as pressing a button, and all they want for Christmas is an Amazon gift card so they can buy more books to download!
I know and recently met many people at the La Jolla Writer’s Conference who simply love books and bookstores, and little neighborhood independent booksellers who cater to their customers with comfortable chairs, plenty of light, booksignings, e-mails about new releases and events, and maybe some coffee will always be favorites. Of course big bookstores can have this too, but driving to a crowded mall and getting lost in a multi-story maze is not my idea of fun.
In an age of digital everything, ultra-realistic video games, and 3-D movies, I think folks will still want to read, so us authors won’t be out of a job just yet. Besides, someone has to write the scripts and advertising copy for all those games and movies, right? Email to author, 8 November 2013.
Sandra Nikolai, author of FALSE IMPRESSIONS, FATAL WHISPERS, www.sandranikolai.com/
The future bookstore will provide a well-lit space, comfortable chairs, a coffee bar, informed staff, and online shopping for e-books and physical books. Bookstores will partner with the community to promote local author events and other cultural events. Purchase incentives: individual and group discounts, periodic sales, and availability of other items like paper products and artwork.
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