Originally Posted by wizwor
I just don't see how a small book store competes with Wal-Mart or Amazon on the NYT best sellers.
They compete by *not* depending on the carpet-bombed "bestsellers".
You carry them, sure, but you give the store a focus and personality to appeal to people looking for more than what you can find at the nearest chain drugstore. Instead of relying on "bestseller-hunters" they can cultivate a reputation with a target demographic (or genre) and make *that* the cash cow, in addition to the "bestsellers" and a reasonable assortment of other demographics. So an indie near a science and engineering or technical university would reasonably focus their inventory heavily on SF and Fantasy while a surburban store might focus more heavily on romance or if its an upscale neighboorhood, lit-fic.
As long as the BPHs carperbomb the universe with their "bestsellers" the likeliest road to survival is service, counter-programming, and followups.