Publishing Perspectives is excited to announce the launch of our new, monthly magazine, a digital-only format optimized for reading on tablets and computers.
Each issue is free to download and will include feature articles about a pertinent topic in global publishing, as well as international reports and profiles of innovative and interesting companies working in publishing today.
For our first issue, the lead topic of “Selling and Sales” highlights companies and people who are searching for and finding new strategies to increase book sales, whether they are publishers, agents or booksellers.
Reports of the Bookstore’s Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated
It’s one thing to publish a book—these days, everyone is doing it — but another thing to sell it. But how? That’s the theme of this, our inaugural issue of the monthly Publishing Perspectives magazine.
Book discovery, that vague premise about helping readers find titles online, has been much discussed over the past several years, but no one has yet to find a magic formula to make it work. Recently, publishers and authors have stumbled on a not-so-surprising epiphany: your best chance to help someone find your book and subsequently buy it is through bookstores. Physical, bricks-and-mortar bookstores.
A decade ago this spring, I took a road trip with Lonely Planet from pre-Katrina New Orleans up the spine of the United States to Chicago, stopping at two dozen independent bookstores along the way. It was an era of great anxiety for the corner bookshop: Amazon was not yet the goliath it is today but was a nascent threat, and booksellers feared the big-box bookseller opening up down the road was likely to put them out of business.
Oh how times have changed. Borders is now a memory (save for the Middle East, where the brand still survives), and Barnes & Noble can’t close underperforming stores fast enough. Amazon is king, but those (some not so little) bookstores that managed to soldier on through the uncertainty of the past decade are now also thriving. Many are more upbeat and optimistic than they have been in years.
And the international community is taking note. At this year’s American Bookseller’s Association Winter Institute, a contingent of booksellers from as far afield as Denmark, Guatemala and New Zealand joined the Americans to glean tips on everything from inventory management to book clubs to marketing.
The future, it seems, is in the smaller-format, more curated and personalized experiences that independent stores can offer. In this strange way, real life is mirroring trends online, where niches rule and any individual taste can be catered to. Ironically, the Internet didn’t kill the corner bookshop. Instead, it made it all the more relevant.
Relevance. That’s key to us, too. For five years now, Publishing Perspectives has brought you daily reports from the global publishing industry. But we want to know what’s most interesting, edifying and, above all, relevant to you. Let us know how we’re doing and what you’d like to read about. Send us an email. Give us a call. We’d love to hear from you. In the meantime, enjoy!