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Posts from the ‘Book Stores’ Category

Anyone Awake Yet?

So, those of us in the US are starting to awaken from the postprandial slumber induced by the gastronomic delights and excesses of Thanksgiving. Maybe.

It is time to think about holiday and post-holiday marketing and what will happen after this fiscal quarter wraps up.

A few predictions: 1) The management of Barnes and Noble will do their best to make the holiday sales look excellent and to make the fourth quarter’s numbers look beautiful. And if they are not, they will blame the ‘Zon.    2) Amazon will have a decent fourth quarter and will [one hopes] get the kinks worked out of the Amazon Print system that has replaced CreateSpace.  3) The Big Five will not be pleased about e-book sales, but will happily announce that people are returning to print books and all will be well, no need to panic, nothing to see here, move along. And just ignore the little voice behind the curtain reminding people that children’s books tend to be print, so the kids can have something to hold and unwrap (and chew on).

In other words, the sun will rise, birds will sing unless they are shivering too hard and their beaks are chattering, and people will buy stuff in November and December.

Do you, those who are planning to sell or have a special holiday sale, have everything ready to go?  You should at least have dates and titles sketched out, how much you are lowering prices and why. Is it to hook readers on your series? Is it to kick sales of your latest release(s) into higher gear to get word-of-mouth and reviews before the post-Christmas buying surge? Is it to gain visibility for a series that you are picking up again with fresher covers and new releases? What are your goals, what sales do you want to see, how are you going to discount and in which markets?

For new releases, what dates do you have to meet? Apple sent out their deadlines two weeks ago. I have not seen hard deadlines from the ‘Zon yet, and I’d plan on having everything ready by no later than December 5 for Kobo, in case they have another short-notice software and hardware update between December 18-January 7 as happened in 2013-14. I was not the only writer dismayed to find myself locked out of getting books approved that year.

Now that you are thinking that a turkey coma relapse might be good, let’s do something really scary…

Readers, when do you buy books for gifts and how often? My family is big on books as gifts, both for adults and kids. We used to do the combo packs of book and stuffed animal, but dust allergies and a new puppy precluded that. I’m 100% in favor of giving kids and older children print books, as well as gift cards for e-books. Luddite that I am, the less screen and the more page, the better I think it is for the under 13 cohort.

Do you give fiction or non fiction? Or do you give gift certificates and cards so people can pick for themselves?

My big point is that as readers and as writers, we look at the fourth quarter and books differently. We writers need to put on our reader hats and think about how we sell during this time, or if we would do better to avoid the December Crush and focus on the entire year. We don’t depend on Black Friday and Cyber Monday as much as others, thanks be, but it is a good time to get Eyes On Books for the future.

Me? I’m going to release the third Shikari book in December, and have plans to launch the fourth one in January or February. I also have two Merchant books to polish and get ready, and the last Colplatschki title. As for marketing and sales, well, you’ll just have to wait and see. 🙂

Edited to add: https://seekingalpha.com/article/4224316-barnes-and-noble-needs-turnaround-expert

Because fake-fur-lined reading socks are not going to be enough to save the books. No, I am not kidding. They are the first display when you walk into the regional B&N.

Something Spooky This Way Comes…

Nightmare fuel: invisible cat in the dark!

Ah, ghost-story and spook season! And the time for telling creepy and terrifying stories to make everyone nervous and edgy. There are a number of them going around, tales that will make writers twitch, glance over shoulders, and mumble about looking for silver bullets and crucifixes. Read more

In Store, or Not In Store…

Since a wire got crossed somewhere, consider this a post-haste post in lieu of the normally posted publishing post.

While it is not as important as it used to be, there’s still something about seeing your work on the shelf for sale beside books by other “real” authors. However, for indie writers, and small press as well, even some medium presses, that used to be dang near impossible. That might be changing, especially for those who use Ingram-Spark/ Lightningsource for print volumes.

On the other hand… “Independent booksellers often talk about their tight bonds with their local communities, and, increasingly, one of the many ways in which they are engaging with those communities is by stocking self-published titles by local writers. For years, the libertarian and frequently contrarian nature of independent authors was at odds with the requirements of bricks-and-mortar indies; self-published authors were empowered by the emergence of online retailers that produced, published, and sold their works, and they didn’t consider how those books would be sold in physical stores. But the relationship between indie authors and indie bookstores has evolved, and numerous booksellers are willing to stock self-published titles—albeit within certain limitations.”

https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/bookselling/article/78181-the-indie-author-indie-bookseller-relationship-warms-up.html Read more

It’s Kate’s Birthday

So she’s run away to have some fun. At least I hope she has. In the meantime, here’s an echo of my post today over on my personal blog. B&N is showing that old is new or new is old or some such thing.

Barnes & Noble “New” Concept a Return to Old

I’ve not made a secret of the fact I worry for the future of bookseller Barnes & Noble. For the last decade, I’ve seen signs the company is in trouble. It goes beyond the revolving door in the executive suite. It goes beyond the problems traditional publishing is having. It is a combination of a large number of factors that, ultimately, almost all rest in the board room. But at least the company hasn’t given up. That’s the best I can say. Read more

The problem isn’t browsing

I guess it’s inevitable that Barnes & Noble seems to be dominating much of the publishing industry-related news of late. First, they fired yet another chief executive. Now the company is being run by a group of three, with Leonard Riggio looking over their shoulders. Then the company reported lower in-store sales–again. Now comes a story from Business Insider about what they think is wrong with the stores. There’s nothing unexpected there but it leaves a few things out, in my opinion.

So, what does BI say is wrong? Read more

A new form of Amazon Derangement Syndrome

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

Why is that genre dead?

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