Book Stores

Book Stores

Seattle Mystery Bookshop declines to work with Amazon

The Seattle Mystery bookshop was asked by an author if they could have a signing at the bookshop. Problem was the book was being published by Amazon. The answer was "no".

Blog post discussing incident: Can't Shake the Devil's Hand and Say You're Only Kidding

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Come Meet the Author, but Open Your Wallet

Independent bookstores, squeezed by competition from Internet retailers like Amazon, have long done something their online brethren cannot emulate: author events. And now many bookstores say they have no choice but to capitalize on this grand tradition.

They are charging admission.

Bookstores, including some of the most prominent around the country, have begun selling tickets or requiring a book purchase of customers who attend author readings and signings, a practice once considered unthinkable.

Full story

Two Massachusetts Bookstores Close, One by Fire...

From Publishers Weekly:
After putting 29-year-old Globe Corner Bookstore up for sale last November because of a health issue, president Patrick Carrier announced today that the travel book and map store in Harvard Square Cambridge will close by the end of June. When Globe Corner opened in downtown Boston in 1982, it was one of the first travel bookstores in the U.S. It has been in Harvard Square for the past 24 years.

“Although we did receive several offers, none met our requirements for selling the business,” says Carrier, who plans to continue to sell online through the store’s website. In addition, Carrier will continue to solicit offers for the company’s assets, including its Web presence and databases and rights to the Globe Corner brand.

Across the state in Worcester, MA one of the area’s oldest used and antiquarian bookstores was forced to close over the Memorial Day weekend. Forty-six year-old Ben Franklin Bookstore, which had been slated to close at the end of the summer, was destroyed in a fire on Friday night. Although no one was harmed in the blaze, the inventory was destroyed and both bookstore cats died.

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A Book Store. That’s Right. Book, Singular.

A Book Store. That’s Right. Book, Singular.
The book is Mr. Kessler’s account of NASA’s 2008 Phoenix Mars Lander mission, reported during 90 days inside mission control, in Tucson, alongside 130 leading scientists and engineers. Publishers Weekly calls the book a “slightly offbeat firsthand account of scientific determination and stubborn intellect” that “delivers a fascinating journey of discovery peppered with humor.”

The store is part marketing ploy, to be sure (Mr. Kessler is a creative director at an advertising agency), but also part meditation on the meaning of the book in an age of e-readers and a bankrupt Borders.

A big box bookstore closes. An indie one rises in its place.

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<a href="http://www.fleetingpages.com/post-theidea/">Fleeting Pages</a> consists of taking over one of the spaces left empty by a failed big box bookstore in Pittsburgh, for one month, starting April 30th, and filling it with independent & self-published work of all kinds, book arts, workshops, and more.

Why is Barnes and Noble performing well as a business while Borders has filed for bankruptcy?

Why is Barnes and Noble performing well as a business while Borders has filed for bankruptcy?
This is a question that many of us at Borders asked ourselves frequently and Evans thinks the answer is not a simple one. As someone who has given this a tremendous amount of thought and was Director of Merchandise Planning & Analysis for many years, Mark Evans outlined his assessment.

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The Three Largest Bookselling Chains Mapped

Publisher's Weekly has a map of the store locations of the three largest booksellers.

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Publishers Look Beyond Bookstores

Reminds me that I want to visit BookMarc on Bleecker Street when the weather warms up....

By STEPHANIE CLIFFORD and JULIE BOSMAN
Published in the New York Times: February 27, 2011

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This Is Why Your Used Bookstore Clerk Hates You

This Is Why Your Used Bookstore Clerk Hates You
Although bookstore workers love their customers, or are at least morally obligated to, sometimes the love is so great it turns murderous. Ever tried to finish all-you-can-eat coconut shrimp? That's the love we're dealing with here. Although your narrator worked at a used bookstore just outside of the city more than a decade ago, he shut his eyes tight, remembered three years of Fat Slice Pizza, and relived some moments of quiet desperation.

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Paging through a life tied to books

Paging through a life tied to books
Jonathon Welch didn't plan on making Buffalo his home when he chose the University at Buffalo for his post-graduate study in the early '70s, but once he got here he never left. The owner of Talking Leaves bookstore on Main Street in Buffalo, NY has run his shop for more than three decades, adding a second location in late 2001 on Elmwood Avenue.

Welch, 60, grew up in Mukwonago, a village in southeastern Wisconsin, where he took to books at a young age -- and also developed a lifelong habit. Look closely at his hands, and chances are you will see written notes scrawled in pen.

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Why is Barnes & Noble performing well while Borders is bankrupt?

Why is Barnes & Noble performing well as a business while Borders is near (or has even reached) bankruptcy?
What is so different about how they are run?
1.Failure to adequately address the internet sales channel and the subsequent ebook market.
2.Poor real estate strategy - Borders leased space that was too large, the storefronts did not compare well to B&N, and they were complacent in picking and relocating existing stores to the best locations.
3.Over-investment in music - while this was a big plus for this in the early to mid 90's, this was a disaster in the long run.
4.Over-reliance on assortment size to compete as opposed to efficient operations - Borders was renowned for its wide and quality assortment of titles.
5.Failure to build efficient systems and processes

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Who Wins As Bookselling Suffers?

Who Wins As Bookselling Suffers?
Does the search for volume sales drive publishers into doing more high discount deals, or what is often termed as ‘special sales’ with supermarkets? As these retailers have demonstrated they will drive down the price narrow the range and will only entertain books if they make their square footage contribution.

It is difficult to envisage the Independents being able to take up the slack. If fewer inventory is going through the traditional channel, will this impact the economics of the current supply chain?

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Borders files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection

Borders files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection
Borders Group is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization after a long struggle to stay afloat as the book and music businesses changed beneath its feet.

The 40-year-old company plans to close about 30 percent of its stores, or about 200, over the next few weeks.

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A Ray of Hope in Tunisia...Previously Banned Books for Sale

From The Irish Times:

LOOKING OUT the window of her bookshop on Avenue Bouguiba, where two dozen curious faces are pressed against the pane to catch a glimpse at her latest display, Selma Jabbes is a picture of quiet satisfaction.

The crowds outside the Al Kitab bookshop are staring at a selection of newly arrived titles under the heading Livres interdits , a selection of books banned under the regime of deposed president Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali and now freely available for the first time.

Most concern Ben Ali, his wife Leila Trabelsi, political repression, Islamism and corruption in the regime.

Al Kitab is still awaiting delivery of its first order of banned books from Europe; those in the window were donated by readers and put on display “to give an idea of how we suffered here”, says Jabbes, a softly-spoken woman greeted by name by many of her customers.

Under Ben Ali’s rule, booksellers required a visa from the interior ministry for every work they wanted to import, and the process could take several months. The list of sensitive subject matter was long and ever-changing, but virtually every foreign title that touched on the president or his entourage, or which denigrated his policies, was strictly prohibited.

Exchanging Real Books for Unwanted Kindles

If you happen to be in the Portland, OR area and have an unwanted/unused Kindle, take it to Microcosm Publishing book and zine store and leave with an equivalent value in printed books....

Details here

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Helping indie bookstores survive on thin ice

Helping indie bookstores survive on thin ice
But all that's changing now. As competition from Amazon.com stiffens and the long-looming specter of e-books materializes into a stark new reality, indie bookstores are broadening their outreach in an effort to establish themselves as community nerve centers.

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L. A.'s Mystery Books to Close; Can't Compete with Amazon

From LA Observed: Owners Kirk Pasich and Pamela Woods say they can no longer compete with Amazon - and a sour economy hasn't helped. The decision to close comes just as the Borders' store in Westwood is in the process of shutting down. That leaves Westwood without any bookstore, chain or independent. I also believe it's the last mystery bookstore in L.A. From an email being sent out:

We simply cannot compete with the Amazons of the world and the impact of the economy. We love the bookstore and mysteries and the relationships we've formed with authors and publishers and agents and publicists. But, we do have retirement to think about (not in the near future!), and family and, well, all of those things that require money. So, it is with considerable sadness that we announce that The Mystery Bookstore, Los Angeles, will--after many years (and as apparently the last-standing bookstore in Westwood, other than UCLA's student store)--be closing. Last day is Jan. 31.

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Borders on the Brink of Bankruptcy

In better days, the Borders bookstore in Westwood  hosted book signings for photographer Annie Leibovitz, actor-turned-producer Henry Winkler and musician Sir Paul McCartney. But now, the countdown to its closing is on. Friday is the last day. Story from L.A. Times Books.

In related news, two top Borders executives resigned today; story from Galley Cat.

Can Book Retailer Borders Survive Without Its Own eReader?

Book and media retailer Borders announced today that it will hold off on paying some publishers in order to buy time and reorganize its debt amid a year of weak sales in its brick and mortar stores in the era of digital distribution.

The company has seen declining sales in books, movies and music since electronic book readers have emerged and most consumers have started to use digital distribution marketplaces like iTunes. Borders’ revenue was down 17.5 percent in tis most recent quarter when compared to the same quarter a year ago, according to their most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Its loss has also doubled to $74.4 million, up from a loss of $37.7 million in the same quarter a year earlier.

Full article

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Bayonne Bookstore Blues

From the Hudson Reporter (NJ):

The owner of Unique Books, Bayonne’s only bookstore, is about to close his doors for good in about a week. Open since 2003, the store has struggled to make a profit.

Janes said the causes leading him to end a lifelong dream were not only the common ones that people cite for bookstores closing. He said rising rent (about $600 more), customers not buying enough books, and owing book distributors money all played a role.

Janes was also critical of the current business climate in Bayonne, which has declined considerably on Broadway, which he sees as a product of Bayonne’s attitude towards small businesses.

“I have a friend with a bookstore in Ridgewood who pulls in a quarter of a million dollars in a year in a town smaller than this one because his town supports him,” Janes said. “This town does not support small businesses; they’re forever building on [Route 440] and nobody shops on Broadway. City officials need to promote shopping on Broadway and provide for more free parking.”

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