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How Can Bookstores Survive?

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Bookstore
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Carmen Amato asked me the other day what I think, how bookstores could survive. And yes, we all want them to survive, both, independent local bookstore and even big chains. It’s not an easy task for brick&mortar booksellers. However, it’s the growing popularity of the “shopping local” movement, in which booksellers were at the forefront.” And further: “many consumers across the country find the grassroots accessibility of indies appealing”, wrote The Atlantic.
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My “wishlist” and ideas how bookstores could strive:

1. e-Book Order Feature
Since years I was wondering why bookstores did not offer their customers devices where they could order the e-book version if they liked what they found in print in the store. Or at least “bundle” print books with an e-book version. Amazon now tries to partner with bookstores (which might meet some resistance…) to offer exactly what I had envisioned.
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2. Carrying Author-Published Books
Trade-published books do not automatically mean quality. There are so many wonderful books from independent authors out there – and it would be a smart move to offer them as well. Readers don’t care who publishes a book, they just want a good read.
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3. Order Directly from Author-Publishers
This way, bookstores could circum-navigate the wholesalers and increase their profit quite a bit! As these connections are mostly with local authors, the bookstores could play the “local” aspect into their promotions to the communities around. Most people like to “know” the author who’s books they buy.
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4. Offer Book-Layout, Cover-Image and Editing
Why not band together with professionals and offer authors these services to make sure the books’ content and layout gets a great start and is prepared for the Espresso Book Machine. Many authors would be happy to get technical help in the book production and publishing process.
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5. Set up an Espresso Book Machine
Many authors (professional and hobbyists) struggle to create very small numbers of print books, e.g. for book signings, Goodreads Giveaways or as gifts. Bookstores would be the ideal place to offer this inventive book printing device. Motto: “Get your book printed while having your Java”, which brings me to the next suggestion:
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6. COFFEE!
Most chain stores, such as B&N or Chapters have a Starbucks in a designated area, but very few bookstores offer this pleasure. Independent bookstores need to give customers more reasons to come in!
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7. More Space and PR for Author Readings
Supporting events such as readings and book signings should be a priority of bookstores – and organizing these professionally, including PR, should be a no-brain-er. After all it is a promotion for the store as well.
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8. Providing Space for Author Meetings
Charging a small fee (as libraries do) and renting meeting space for authors or even organize a writers conference could be profitable and at the same time a good PR for bookstores if they have the space.
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What is YOUR view, how do you think, bookstores can survive and even strive?

Check out what writers and author-publishers suggested on Carmen Amato’s website.
Who else wrote about survival of bookstores?
Can traditional bookstores survive the digital marketplace?
Barnes & Noble’s troubles don’t show why bookstores are doomed.
The Man Who Took on Amazon and Saved a Bookstore
How ‘Indie’ Bookstores Survived (and Thrived)

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Posted by on January 24, 2014 in Audio Books, Book Sales, Bookstores

 

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Like to Get FREE Samples?

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Cookie-Samples

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Almost everyone likes to get free samples.  I love to try out new foods at grocery promotions, and most of the time, I buy the products after sampling. Same with books: Readers do “search inside” to find out if they like the story or the tips given in a non-fiction guidebook, before they hit the “Buy” button. Even more alluring is it, when they find an article from you on your blog, on your website or a magazine, online or print, such as Salon.com, Huffington Post, Squidoo.com, Hubpages.com, or The Atlantic, who have millions of readers.
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Give Readers a Sample of Your Craft
Your novel or your non-fiction book is full of keywords and ideas for blogs, guest blogs and newspaper or magazines. While it takes a long time until you can make money with your books, while you might be paid for your writing within a few weeks or months , and it might turn into a long-term business relation with the editors. Not all of the newspapers or magazines pay for guest bloggers, yet only the exposure you get through these publications is priceless – and it also improves your author brand and your recognition as a writer.  An author, who can write a whole book, or several for that matter, can also write short articles!  Just learn how to write for the Internet.
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Benefits of Article Writing 

  • Clever Marketing and reaching millions of people can be done totally free (other than your time). Just use your creativity and imagination!
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  • Be self-assured and don’t hesitate to pitch international newspapers / blogs. It takes as much time as to pitch your local neighborhood paper.
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  • Write something of value for readers – which is “by chance” part of your book, such as travel tips to the location of your books plot, museums, festivals or public transportation that are mentioned in your book.
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  • You have to do your research anyway, why not use the material you gather and write several articles that you can offer – always mentioning your book.
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  • As a writer you know how to write, just learn how to write online content by reading lots of online articles and how they are set-up
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2014 Will Likely See Many More Books Published!
And more competition …  On the other hand, author-publishers will have more opportunities to engage more deeply with their audiences, expanding efforts to build online communities of interest for their readers. More authors, meanwhile, will hopefully recognize the value of true fans, and the importance of forging meaningful connections with the right people to rise above the competition.
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Readers want to know more and interact with the author who’s book they are buying – not only see ads with the message: Buy my book, buy my book, buy my book … Readers rather want to see samples of your writing. 

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If you would like to get more support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or to learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing: We offer all this and more for only $159 for three months! Learn more about this individual book marketing help: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars
Or visit http://www.e-book-pr.com/book-promo/
to advertise your new book, specials, your KDP Select Free Days or the new Kindle Countdown Deals.

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Posted by on December 19, 2013 in Marketing, Writing

 

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Publishing News in Blogs – Part 2

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Sexist Responses / Reviews to Women Writing
Sarah Sentilles worte in a Harvard University blog an article “Sexist responses to women writing about religion”.  Beside her personal experiences she cited statistics from Women in Literary Arts:

The Atlantic published 184 articles and pieces of fiction by men and 64 by women; 18 of their book reviewers were men and 8 were women; and 24 of the authors reviewed were men, compared to 12 women.
Harper’s Magazine published 65 articles by men and 13 articles by women; 23 of their book reviewers were men and 10 were women; 53 of the authors reviewed were men, 19 were women.
The New York Review of Books published 133 articles by men and 19 by women; 201 of their book reviewers were male and 53 were female; and they reviewed 75 male authors and only 17 female authors.
The New Yorker, The New York Times Book Review, The New Republic, The London Review of Books—all pay more attention to books and essays and articles, poems and short stories written by men than they do to those written by women.”
Find the whole article by Sarah Sentilles here:

My comment on this: What do you make of this stats? Well, maybe use a man’s pen name?
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Amazon in India
David Gaughran writes about the new Amazon store in India. His findings:

  • Indian sales are not broken out in KDP.
  • There are no Indian Best Seller lists.
  • Amazon only pays 35% on Indian sales, regardless of list price.

“The Indian market has huge potential: a burgeoning middle class which speaks English and enjoys an increasing level of disposable income. Skeptics might point to high levels of poverty and low levels of internet connectivity, but with a population of 1.2 billion, only a small percentage of the population needs to purchase devices (or read on existing devices like smartphones) before this is an extremely important market.”
Read his full blog article:
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Barnes and Noble pulls Amazon Books from Shelves

Stephanie Chandler writes: “While it may seem that Barnes&Noble is throwing a tantrum, it looks to me like they are standing up against a big bully.  Amazon’s KDP Select Program requires authors to limit their e-book distribution to Amazon only, forcing authors to eliminate distribution to Barnes and Noble Nook readers (plus iPad and other e-readers).  I don’t think it’s fair for Amazon to require exclusivity.  It’s not fair to readers or to authors who may want to acquire and distribute books elsewhere, and it’s a blatant attempt by Amazon to further dominate the e-book market.”
Read her article here.
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Frankfurt Book Fair Closes with Positive Results

In a nut shell:  Frankfurter Buchmesse schließt mit positiver Bilanz: Der „neue Sportsgeist“
More general visitors, more interest in books and e-books, growing interest in conference program is the result of this year’s Frankfurt Book Fair, the worlds’ most important book event, incurring a visitor plus of 0,6% to 281.753.

  • The Literary Agent Center in Halle 6.0 grew by 4,4% compared to 2011.
  • The conference and seminar program „Frankfurt Academy“ grew by 3300 participants or 10%.
  • More interest in translations from smaller countries and in digital projects.

Read the whole article in German: Frankfurter Buchmesse schließt mit positiver Bilanz: Der „neue Sportsgeist“

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If you enjoyed this blog post, please feel free to check out all previous posts (there are more than 560 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.

Follow on Twitter: @111publishing

And don’t forget to spread the word on other social networking sites of your choice for other writers who might also enjoy this blog and find it useful. Thanks, Doris

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