Thursday, August 19, 2010
BARNES AND NOBLE FOR SALE? HUH?
Who would have thunk it? One of the largest retail bookstores going up for sale is a shock. I admit to reading stories of doom and gloom. The end of the retail bookstore chains as we know it. Ebooks and internet buying take over. You know what? It’s not all hype. It’s becoming a reality.
WHY WOULD THEY SELL
There are lots of reasons why I believe one of the big dogs is bailing out. Okay, the facts as reported states sinking shares, internet sales increase for their competitor, and the economy.
My personal thoughts, they are a victim of a sunk economy, changing business practices in which they failed to hop on the band wagon when the opportunity was available. For instance, they could have set up free-overnight delivery of books ordered from their store with the purchase of another book. They could have seamlessly merged their brick and mortar bookstore with the internet. They tried in some ways, but just wasn’t able to cut the mustard or the pricing competiveness that Amazon had. Let’s face it, most of my friends purchase from Amazon. Why? Because Amazon is cheaper and they love the free shipping perks, not to mention – most every book they want is available.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR PUBLISHERS?
This could mean a bit of restructuring. Maybe an open door for small presses who’ve been trying to get a relationship with this bookseller in order to get some of that coveted shelf space. It could also mean a total shut out by the new owner of the stores who may only see value in promoting authors or publishers that are a ‘sure thing’.
At this point, I’m sure many publishers large and small are watching this event unfold closely. It could mean focusing sales completely on the internet, indie bookstores or the bookstores remaining. It also could impact the remaining large retail bookstores ways of doing business. Alas, at the end of the day, it’s all about sales strategy. Every publisher will have to stay one step ahead of the game and be willing to forge new paths in order to stay competitive. From my experience though, Indie publishers and Small presses will do just fine – they’ve been thinking outside of the box, staying one step ahead of the game to survive from their very beginning.