It should come as no surprise to any of us that one of the biggest problems facing traditional publishing is the declining number of bookstores, especially chain stores. Part of the reason is because publishers still cling to the old ways like a drowning sailor will cling to a life preserver. Unlike the sailor, however, publishers could change their retail chain with a little innovation and a desire to adapt to the changing market. Unfortunately, over the last several decades, we’ve seen little willingness from major publishers to do anything out of the norm. We’ve also seen the same from chain booksellers and that is one of the reasons why so many of those chains no longer exist. Barnes & Noble, facing extinction sooner rather than later, may finally be getting a clue thanks to new head, James Daunt.
Or is it? Read more
As writers, we have to balance a number of balls from the time an idea first forms to the post-publication promotion period. There’s the plotting of our story, the research that needs to be done, the actual writing of it. That’s followed by editing, promotion, finding the right cover, preparing for publication, publication, ore promotion. Then there’s the business end of making sure taxes are taken care of, supplies are bought, receipts are kept, etc. At each point along the way, it’s easy to take a misstep. Read more
To say the last few weeks have been interesting is putting it mildly. We’ve seen Barnes & Noble, after years of speculation, finally selling. The publishing world was rocked by the news and it will be years before we see how the sale finally shakes out. Indies and traditionally published authors alike are being impacted by the sale–we simply don’t know how. Will B&N still exist a year or five years from now? Will it still be a platform open to indie authors and, if so, will we be able to submit directly to the bookseller or be forced to go through a third-party platform like Smashwords or Draft2Digital? Time will tell but, until we know more about the reorganization, caution is called for.
That said, B&N isn’t without hope. Keep that in mind as well. Read more
Let’s face it, publishing is little more than a legal, and non-lethal, form of Russian roulette. If you want to go the traditional route, you are rolling the dice at so many levels you probably have a greater chance of being hit by lightning. If you go the indie route, will you be able to grab enough of the market to make it worth your while to spend the time writing the book? No matter which route you take, the ride gets even bumpier. But, if you look closely enough, there are high points as well. The only thing that isn’t certain is how it will turn out for you. Read more
Or perhaps “wut?”
That’s pretty much been what I’ve said to a lot of things recently. Everything from my current WIPs to industry news, I’ve been scratching my head and wondering “what?”. Sometimes, it’s been with a degree of amazement and wonder, sometimes sheer befuddlement. All of it has been with a great deal of head shaking and wondering what in the hell is going on. Read more
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
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
As the ongoing saga of Barnes and Noble continues, there was a bit of a shake-up earlier this week: CEO Demos Parneros was fired on (apparently) no notice and got no severance. Read more
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
This question came up recently in comments – why should we, on MGC, report on what The Big 5 (4?) are doing, or on B&N?
1. There’s scope and scale. What business are we in? We’re in the entertainment business. We’re competing with every other entertainer out there for Joe Sixpack’s beer money – and for Jane Doe’s attention span when she wants something to take her mind off the fact that she’s in a waiting room. Read more