Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A Sudden End

I spent a lot of time daydreaming about my future. Especially the part that involves promoting a published book. A big part of that dreamed-of future included appearances at Borders Books. Now that will never happen, which is kinda depressing. Not because of the book signings, but because I hate to see this company go away. I loved shopping at Borders, and I loved working there. I'll be sad to see it go.

But as I said a few months ago, this downturn in Borders' business is no surprise. They were very bad at business. For example, they would keep many MANY copies of a single book on the shelf, but it wasn't a new book, or a book in high demand, just a book that the buyers for the company were TOLD would sell. But it didn't sell. So we'd send the extra copies back to the publisher (we called it RPL), and then the NEXT DAY, we would get another dozen or more copies of the SAME BOOK. Yes, the book that wasn't selling.

I genuinely thought that by filing bankruptcy and closing so many stores, they would be able to save the company. I hoped that they'd learned their lesson and discovered a path toward a profitable future. Heck, they were selling e-readers when the only other option was Kindle. But I guess they started to try to same themselves too late in the game.

The landscape of book sales is changing. I hope to see brick-and-mortar stores for quite some time, but I imagine most of those shops will be mom-and-pop shops that focus on used book sales. Really, it's only a matter of time before e-books become the "standard" for the publishing world.


  1. Seems we're all lamenting and writing about the loss of a bookstore lately...

  2. That will be a sad time. I have determined to not bend into the digital reading world until I absolutely, 100% have no alternative. It's sad that Borders didn't have better management. In this economy, management is key.

    I'm sure you'll have plenty of other places begging for you to do book signings. ;)

  3. A lot of things in this industry are changing, and it will continue, which is why I think more and more about self-publishing.