Monday, December 19, 2016

2017 Wish For Publishing

My ultimate wish for 2017 is to see the re-emergence of the bookstore! Can I get a big AMEN to that?

Now, let me explain. My reason for seeing the bookstores come back goes far beyond simply seeing sales figures go up (although I seriously doubt authors, agents, publishers and booksellers would complain if they did see those numbers go up). It is the simple fact that bookstores provide a lot more for all of those involved.

Bookstores introduce new authors
Think back to the days when you had the chance to really wander a good bookstore. You would always go in with the intent of just getting one book and in the end, you left with a ton more. In many cases you found new authors that became your new friends. You had the chance to wander around the store, gazing at books and simply giving those new authors a chance.

Yes, I get that online sites like Amazon attempt to do that, but those "Other bought this book too" are only based on sales. These aren't personal discoveries.

And also consider how many authors are out there right now. Discovering those new authors online simply doesn't happen as they did in the bookstores.

Bookstores are a safe haven from the hectic world
I don't know about you, but my blood pressure and tension completely disappears as I enter a bookstore. The smell of books and the knowledge that you are around people who enjoy the same pleasure of peaceful reading is intoxicating. Find those bigger stores with the smell of coffee and pastries and you know the feeling. You are in seventh heaven.

And frankly, the joy of hearing the clicking of the keyboard on my computer screen as the online site asks for my CVC number is just not working for me. Nothing relaxing there. Heck, we are probably more worried about cyber security and if someone in the Russia is now going to buy the next elector with my credit card payment.

Bookstores provide instant gratification
Again, online purchases (unless you buy E-books) do not give you that immediate gratification. I know you have all done this. If you are like my wife, as soon as we get into the car after a book store run, she is immediately opening up that bag and is involved with the latest purchase. My kids immediately dissolve into silence as they dive into their new finds.

I am sorry, but 7-10 business days to wait for the book I was all excited about is not happening for me.

Bookstores allow you to "browse"
In many ways, this is like finding those new authors. We want the time to read a little of that book before we start. The "selected" blurbs the online sites provide simply is not enough.

We love wandering around and simply reading new projects. Get a sense of the book before we buy. Get a sense of a new author.

Again, online sites, although they attempt to do this, just cannot work as well.

Bookstores DO increase sales
Publishers need to realize that sales don't just come from print OR e-book. Sales come from both. They need to understand that when you provide the opportunities for people to buy the books, they will buy the books. If all publishers do is to say "the books are available online for purchase" they have lost out on a whole demographic of people who just don't buy books that way. They lose out on those people who are not internet savvy.

Look publishers. I get things were tough in 2008, but if you start providing more books in print and quit the "cost saving plans" and "cutting corners" you may see those increase sales. Bookstores closed because you quit sending them books.

Let's see what we can do in 2017. Authors and certainly all avid readers need to make a big push!!!

And I will see you in the bookstore!

1 comment:

  1. Oh, wow, a big AMEN to the post. I love bookstores for all the reasons you mentioned. For me, browsing through a bookstore is as restorative as walking through an art gallery. (Although, I can walk out of a book store with a paid for purchase, and I can't afford to purchase the art in most galleries.) But the atmosphere, the mood, the discovery—everything you mentioned—it's all there in a bookstore. Thank you for posting this.