Renowrites blog!

Author of YA novel "Enlightenment" available March 2019!

New era of Publishing

So Publishers Weekly reports that Borders Books had very disappointing sales in 4th quarter 2009. This is unfortunate, but this supports what I believe will happen with big chain bookstores in the next few years. They will reduce the number of stores, and the stores that remain open will reduce fiction inventory to the best sellers (i.e Dan Brown, Nora Roberts, Nicholas Sparks) while nonfiction will carry these brick and mortar retail outlets. Meanwhile, Apple’s Tablet to be released in March 2010 will really spark the eBook growth as Amazon’s Kindle continues to gain marketshare. Publishing’s transition to a new business model is well underway. The question is how quickly will major publishers adapt to this new reality?

Filed under: Writing

3 Responses

  1. Ben Thornton says:

    I think major publishers will still react very slowly. They worry about losing control of the medium/content by having it distributed electronically (and possibly pirated). What they don’t understand is that making it as easy as possible to get the content you want is the only way to increase (or at least maintain) sales and deter piracy.

    This leaves a hole where independent writer can try to self publish themselves through electronic means. This would require additional investment through advertising by the independent writer (think Google Adwords for advertising about you title with links to e-bookstores) among other marketing strategies, like blogs/portals for independent writers to gather, partnerships with sympathetic, higher traffic websites for referrals, etc.

    Another thing to consider is Google’s idea of an HTML e-reader where you log in to read the content (think of a Google Docs application where the “docs” are books). If you can access your “books” through any device that has HTML/Web browsing and internet connectivity, this opens up “e-reading” to almost any cellphone, and a much better experience on all those big screen smartphones out there, along with laptop, etc.

    Let’s of disruptive technology out there, and opportunity.

  2. reno1107 says:

    Hey Ben!

    B&N Jack London closed on January 31st! At least there’s Books Inc. Are you going to get an iPad?

  3. Ben Thornton says:


    Yeah, I didn’t even know that JL B&N was closing, and me and the GF went there on closing day. It was kinda sad, but there is a B&N in Emeryville. Probably didn’t need that many B&N’s so close to each other, and honestly, JL traffic is pretty low now, so there probably isn’t enough incidental traffic to maintain revenue to keep the store open (my business thinking hat, on. Off now).

    iPad, I don’t know.

    It’s a product designed to appeal the the masses, and seems simple to use, which is what makes it have the possible mass appeal. It also has a form factor that eludes other similar devices.

    However, for the same price, I could get a Lenovo Thinkpad tablet (with Multitouch), that can have iTunes on it, along with any other e-reader software I want. Anything that I can do with the iPad (expect the specific “apps” in the App store), I can do with a netbook-tablet (but maybe not as pretty). So, if I were in the market for such a device, I would probably buy a tablet PC, just for the ability to use it for other functions. The simplicity Apple offers its consumers comes with the trade off of a highly controlled ecosystem of usage.

    I think the iPad may raise awareness of other tablet type products (See Sony’s own tablet Maybe if the tablets are able to provide a more robust experience in the future, I would consider one.

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January 2010

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