[As a follow-up to my post two days ago, I am gratified to learn that some booksellers see the writing on the wall, and are adapting. You will not want to follow every link in the following article – especially when it gets into Groupons and QR codes and Lightning Source – but if you are a bookstore customer, you will want to get the gist of this story.
As for the closing of Borders, here is what Wikipedia says about the bookstore chain: “Borders Group, Inc. (OTCBB: BGPIQ) is an international book and music retailer based in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The company employs approximately 19,500 throughout the U.S., primarily in its Borders and Waldenbooks stores.
As of January 30, 2010, the company operated 511 Borders superstores in the world, including 508 in the U.S. and three in Puerto Rico. The company also operated 175 stores in the Waldenbooks Specialty Retail segment, including Waldenbooks, Borders Express, Borders airport stores, and Borders Outlet stores.”
To get some perspective on this, imagine Chapters and Coles in Thunder Bay going out of business. That would leave one single little bookstore operating in the city, one you’ve probably never frequented, let alone heard about.
And, imagine never being able to order a new title online from a Canadian-based retailer.
Gawd Almighty, folks! Wake up! There is a revolution happening in the book trade, and soon the bullets may be flying and the shrapnel bursting in a bookstore-free street near you.
I do know what a Lightning Source is, though Groupons and QR codes still baffle me. I have my novel, The Beardmore Relics, printed through them (an American-based company, by the way – there is no equivalent in Canada yet). LSI (Lightning Source Inc.) is one of the cutting edges of the revolution. Yes, I am a publishing guerilla. LSI is a print-on-demand service, and it won’t be long before “print-on-demand” is as familiar a term to readers as “book cover” is.
But, I do not want to see the old order fail. I want to see it adapt. Read on.]
Is the Borders’ liquidation the beginning of the end for independent booksellers? The American Booksellers Association (ABA) doesn’t think so.
The ABA released this statement: “It is jolting news for any community when a bookstore closes, and independent booksellers are saddened to hear that almost 11,000 Borders employees will be losing their jobs. However, we do not believe that the Borders closing is a bellwether for the future of bricks-and-mortar bookstores nationwide . . . ”