Brick & mortar bookstores continue to be in trouble
Yes, I know this is not news to many of you. But it serves as a good reminder to see the Publishers Weekly article this morning showing that Books-A-Million is still diving with sales of books & magazines down nearly 10% over the past year. Our local Barnes & Noble has become irrelevant because they have nothing but best sellers and traditional publishers in their store here. In fact, the store is now barely half books. It’s very sad.
The shakedown is not over yet
We will see much more erosion in brick & mortar bookstores. However, do not be depressed. We have been given a great opportunity. You need to be constantly looking for new outlets.
Remember, in the flyover brick and mortar stores in general are failing
In our little town with a metro area population of around 100,000 people, we have to go online for anything unusual. When the best stores in town for almost anything are the Target and Wally World, you do a lot of shopping online. Sure this current marketing and shopping reality is fragile. It could all crash this afternoon and we’d be wandering is a new dystopian world order. But there is no way to plan for such a thing. Survivalism is not available for many, if not most, of us.
In the mean time, expand your horizons!
Get your books into every venue available. Check out new opportunities. The push to fixed layout ePUBs is growing. Enhanced ebooks with video and sound are available though not popular yet. Audio books are growing very fast. It’s not likely that amazon will remain king of the hill for very long. Keep your options option.
Most important, keep writing!
The number of readers continues to grow as do the quantity of books sold. As I said, it’s a real opportunity for the self-published author. As Christian authors we have a unique goal of saving people from themselves. That prospect is also in a rapidly closing window of time. Keep focused.