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Posts tagged brick-and-mortar bookstores

Indie bookstores doing fine: Now stop demonizing Amazon?
April 10, 2014 | 10:31 am

amazonSalon, rarely the most Amazon-friendly of venues, has just run another story on the state of the indie bookstore sector in the U.S., and found surprisingly positive trends. And naturally, being Salon, it saw fit to headline the report with a hit at Amazon like: "The independent bookstore lives! Why Amazon’s conquest will never be complete." In the article, Andrew Leonard picks up on the same kind of data that I instanced previously on the relative fortunes of indie bookstores and major book chains (Borders in particular, of course) in the era of digital disruption. "Brick-and-mortar bookstores aren’t dead, yet," he...

A First Look at Indigo Tech!
August 29, 2013 | 2:14 pm

Indigo Tech Indigo Tech is open for business! I snapped these pics today at my local store, and it's about what I expected: a fancier Kobo kiosk, iPads and more! The various wall displays have headphones, speakers, health products such as the Fitbit, iPad creative accessories like a Crayola effects pad, and cases and accessories. The dedicated staff person moved back and forth between the main display and the separate Kobo area. I already have an iPad, and none of the displayed accessories caught my eye. But there are more Indigo stores than Apple stores, so maybe they're hoping to use that to bring...

What’s Indigo up to? And what, exactly, is Indigotech?
August 16, 2013 | 3:43 pm

IndigoHot on the heels of Kobo's price drop on the Arc, I was at my local Indigo (a major Canadian bookstore chain) this afternoon to find the bargain books section shrunken, the fitness books crammed in with them, and in what used to be the large-ish lifestyle section where those books were before, a huge walled-off section bearing this message: Hmmm. I wonder if Indigo's impending press event is about more than just a refresh on the Arc? Clearly, Indigo intends to build a grander home for their Kobo kiosk behind that wall... Stay tuned! We'll post an update as soon as...

The Battle for Bookstores: Who’s their ideal customer now?
August 16, 2013 | 10:46 am

bookstoreI'd bookmarked several articles this week waxing philosophical about the fate of the bookstore, and it seems I am not the only one who noticed this trend: Laura Hazard Owen did a nice round-up for GigaOM summarizing the contributions from some main players. Joseph Esposito, Mike Shatzkin and Seth Godin all approach the book issue from different vantage points (Esposito and Shatzkin are cunsultants, Godin is an author) but reach a few similar conclusions, about the move to e-books (inevitable, whether welcome or not) and the shift to purchasing online versus purchasing in stores. Godin seems a little more sentimental and hopes...

Members-Only Bookstores: What Would Make You Pay?
August 1, 2013 | 10:22 am

bookstoreBook Riot has a great little article up exploring the concept of a members-only bookstore. As the article explains, this idea has been floated around (most recently by Bloomberg News, whom they cite) as a way to 'save' the bricks-and-mortar bookstore against showrooming, the practice of customers coming in to browse, then going home and ordering it online for cheaper. Author Jeff O'Neal doesn't find the Bloomberg article's suggestions very compelling, but does go on to list a few ideas of his own—not for a 'members-only' bookstore per se, but for services a regular bookstore could offer that people might find worth getting...

Do You Pre-Order Your E-Books?
July 29, 2013 | 10:00 am

pre-orderOver the weekend came the news that Smashwords is rolling out the ability to pre-order its titles in the major bookstores. Yay? Or meh? Before we get too excited, Michael Kozlowski asks the necessary follow-up question: Do people actually use this shopping method? Do you out there in Internetland actually pre-order books? Kozlowski acknowledges that surely, some people do pre-order, or there wouldn't be a demand for offering it. But he adds that booksellers have been less keen to exploit some of the incentives that movie, music and video game companies have for shelling out early. From the article: "If you order an album...

Fancy children’s books: Who are they for?
July 3, 2013 | 11:17 am

children's booksAs a book-devouring adult reader, e-books have changed my life. But one of the areas in which I still prefer paper is children's picture books. Once they hit chapter-book reading level, I'd happily turn a kid loose on an e-book reader, but when they still need pictures, and when the layout and typographics matter, this is one genre where paper still rules. Or ... does it? It's been a holiday weekend here in Canada (Happy Canada Day!) and we spent most of it in big-chain bookstores letting the young relative we were visiting play with the train tables that were set...

Are Bookstore Experiences the Way of the Future?
July 2, 2013 | 4:03 pm

bookstoreI've seen a flurry of articles lately documenting the increasingly shrinking quantity of shelf space in bookstores being devoted to actual books. My local Indigo has an entire level that stocks almost no books at all—it's got magazines, the Kobo kiosk, the cash desk area and a large selection of high-end housewares with a few shelves of themed books thrown in (decorating, cookbooks and garden books mostly, placed strategically with related non-book merchandise). All the actual books for reading are on the second level. Not the bookstore of my youth by any means! But is there a way to do a store like...

London’s Lion & Unicorn Bookshop closure shows rent woes of UK independent bookstore sector
June 28, 2013 | 10:17 am

The Lion & UnicornMournful reports signaled the closure of a much-loved children's independent bookshop in Southwest London's Richmond, the Lion & Unicorn Bookshop—this time, not citing competition from e-books or Amazon's online sales juggernaut, but rental rises. "It is with great regret I have to announce that after 36 years the Lion & Unicorn is to cease trading in Richmond," said Jenny Morris, owner and managing director of the Lion & Unicorn, in an announcement on the bookstore's website. "In recent years our rent has increased to the point where it is now unsustainable." The Lion & Unicorn won the Independent Bookseller of the Year...

Anti-Amazon links bashing in The Bookseller brings new bout of bathos
June 25, 2013 | 12:51 pm

AmazonA new bout of Amazon-bashing in the UK’s The Bookseller has been given webtime following a Bookseller blog piece by independent bookseller Keith Smith, the owner of Warwick & Kenilworth Books, entitled “Action not words,” and taking certain named authors to task for linking directly to Amazon or Amazon plus other book chain retailers to offer their books for sale, “without giving a fig for independent bookshops.” Smith levers the anger against Amazon on taxation grounds argument, “as someone who is heartily sick of not being able to fight back against Amazon, because we pay our taxes and it doesn’t.” He also speaks...

Meet WebBytez, a new method of e-book discovery
March 9, 2013 | 12:45 pm

E-book discovery by readers has been much in the news lately, and it's definitely an issue for authors, especially those who are self-published. While readers continue to find their next great book in online stores, some still browse brick and mortar bookstores. Wouldn't it be nice if they could find and buy e-books in a store? No, not showrooming Books-A-Million to buy a book on Amazon. Buy actually buying the e-book in the store, so that the author and the store both make money on the deal. Bitingduck Press has an answer. It's still new, so don't look for it yet...

Another One Bites the Dust: Landmark Toronto bookstore to close April 1
February 17, 2013 | 11:29 am

Bittersweet news came out this weekend that Nicholas Hoare, a landmark Toronto bookstore, is set to close April 1, 2013. The store is known for its eclectic stock and elegant interior, and has been in operation in three different cities, at various junctures, since 1971. The shocker? This article on the closure says there isn't actually any 'untoward' reason for the closure—no 'competition from big chains will destroy us all' or 'Amazon is killing the little guys' or 'ebooks are causing the death of print.' It's simply that Hoare's lease was up for renewal and Mr. Hoare had a choice to...