The other day, Forbes published a post entitled “Amazon Should Replace Local Libraries to Save Taxpayers Money”. Yes, you read that right. The article was written by Long Island University Post economics professor, Panos Mourdoukoutas. All I can say is if this is his idea of fiscal responsibility, I don’t want my kids or grandkids (when I have them) studying under him and I am really glad he isn’t on my city council. For it’s part, Forbes has realized just how ill-advised it was to publish the post. Why? Because after only a couple of days, the post is gone from the Forbes site. If you follow the link provided in a number of places, you get a 404 (or 4-0-Forbes) error.
Not that it has caused Mourdoukoutas to take down his tweet announcing the post. Read more
Occasionally, you’ll hear a new writer to the field (especially one who’s come in fully indie, in the last 10 years), ask “Why is X genre called a dead genre?” If there’s a group of indie authors, all equally focused on writing stories, they may start getting deep in the weeds on themes versus character arcs vs. popular movies vs. whatever to explain it. Those have nothing to do with it. Read more
One of the hotly debated topics around the publishing and writing side of the ‘Net is “Just how big is Amazon anyway, and is it a threat or a menace?” OK, the last only if you are B&N or if you are a TradPub accountant trying to sort out what’s wrong with the bottom line.
Over at The Passive Voice, Felix J. Torres has some really interesting links and numbers. As it turns out, the ‘Zon’s not as big as it seems:
Food for thought.
(exclamation points mine. Both of ‘em)
Hey, all you crazy, wonderful writerly/readerly types, our own Sarah, and friend of the blog, Kevin J. Anderson, have a new book out, and everybody loves it! Okay, okay, maybe not everybody-everybody, but right now Barnes & Noble has it in a list of the best SF of May! Kindle edition available at Amazon and Baen Ebooks. Audio at the ‘Zon, as well, for those who like getting their fiction aurally. Check it out, commit commerce, and leave a review.
For those who want their very own, beautiful hardcover of Uncharted, Amazon is taking pre-orders for fulfillment on the 8th of May.
To support these efforts, we are focused on attracting, retaining and developing top talent throughout the organization.I hate to say it but the continuing saga of Barnes & Noble is starting to bear too many similarities to the last year or so of Borders. The upper management makes sweeping statements meant to reassure stockholders. Yet, a close look at those statements shows they contain holes big enough to drive a tank — or a fleet of them — through. New agendas are announced and new programs put into place. Yet nothing really changes. Why? Because the suits at the top simply refuse to understand the changes in the industry and admit they’ve screwed up and need a new playbook.
The first misstep is the announcement of the new “book club”. Now, book clubs in bookstores is nothing new. In fact, locally owned bookstores have had them from the beginning. I can remember times when book clubs met at our local B&N. But this one is “different”. How? First, it’s “seasonal”. (Whatever the hell that means because the first title doesn’t yell “summer” to me.) Second, every B&N across the nation will be having the same book club/reading the same book at the same time. Oh, and you’ll get free coffee and a cookie. Whoopie — not. Read more
I promised this the other day and got sidetracked. This is my first chance to get back to it.
By now, everyone’s read or heard about the latest round of layoffs Barnes & Noble is instituting. Following the “how to slit your own business throat in one easy lesson” plan, it is laying off head cashiers, digital leads and others in their stores who are 1) full-time employees and 2) have the experience and knowledge that helps a store run smoothly. The company says it will save them tens of millions of dollars a year. Which it might, on a protected profit and loss sheet. What those projections don’t show are the number of customers and individual transactions that will be lost because customers can’t get help when needed, can’t get their questions answered and can’t find the books they want because they haven’t been unloaded from their boxes yet. Read more
(Sarah asked me to fill-in this morning. She’ll return with her workshop next week.)
The age of the big box bookstores is waning. That’s nothing new. The proverbial writing has been on the wall for years, since before Borders shuttered its last store. Barnes & Noble continues to fight for survival and relevancy in the changing environment publishing finds itself in. Unfortunately for readers and for BN’s employees, the company’s leaders seem hell-bent on doing everything they can to short-circuit those efforts.
It’s well-known 2017’s holiday sales season wasn’t kind to B&N. Same store sales were down more than 6% and online sales were down 4.5%. This at a time when other retailers saw strong holiday sales. This was also after the retailer said in November “it would pivot to books and rely more on trusted human booksellers to bounce back from meh performance.” Apparently, that isn’t working — or at least not fast enough to satisfy the powers-that-be. So, new steps have been taken in an attempt to save the company. Read more