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Old 02-01-2013, 04:12 PM   #1
faithbw
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If Barnes & Noble Goes Under, Will Publishing Survive?

http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2013/02/0...ble-publishing

I heard this story on my local NPR station while driving this afternoon. I would listen to the story if you can as it goes into more depth that the short published article. It's only about 7 minutes. Although I think the man interviewed, Dennis Johnson, is too pessimistic, he discusses some interesting points.

His assertion is that if B&N goes under, publishing may not survive because B&N served as a book showroom. Without a place to showroom books, Johnson believes that both the pulp and e-books market will plummet. Again, I thought he was too pessimistic. I don't go to B&N for books any more since their book collection stinks. I usually peruse the library, go to Goodreads or go to various book selling sites like Kobo to get suggestions on what to read. Additionally, sites like Amazon usually provide a sample to read.

However, book showrooms may still influence a lot of other customers.

Last edited by faithbw; 02-01-2013 at 08:55 PM.
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Old 02-01-2013, 05:13 PM   #2
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I really doubt Barnes & Noble is going to under. Not anytime soon. Yes, they'll close a lot of stores, but there are still other places where people buy/see books. Wal-Mart. Sam's Club. Costco. Sure, they only carry a fraction of what B&N does in store, but they carry the stuff people want to buy, and they sell through it quickly. Then there's the public library.

Why on earth would the ebook market would plummet without a showroom? My ebook showroom is right in my living room, on my computer. Along with Goodreads, MobileRead, ereaderiq and the various other websites I look at to find new releases and recommendations.
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Old 02-01-2013, 05:13 PM   #3
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Book stores look more like toy stores nowadays.
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Old 02-01-2013, 05:18 PM   #4
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What nonsense. I haven't been in a book shop for ages, and I still buy lots of books.
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Old 02-01-2013, 05:22 PM   #5
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If B&N were to go under, that doesn't kill the market for paper books. Grocery stores and drug stores have some books, and stores like Target have small book sections. I think we'd see smaller stores open up, like B. Dalton or Waldenbooks. They could probably open up pretty quickly, they don't need a big space in malls. They likely would have strong motivation to open up quickly, because without B&N, the paper book market would be pretty seriously under served. Independent stores would probably have more of a share of the market than they have now.
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Old 02-01-2013, 05:26 PM   #6
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No. There will probably be more independent book stores, which would be good. The book market does not ride on the existence of B&N.
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Old 02-01-2013, 05:49 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Apache View Post
Book stores look more like toy stores nowadays.
Apache
And smell like restaurants.
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Old 02-01-2013, 06:30 PM   #8
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It's a bit too early to write B&N's epitaph.
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Old 02-01-2013, 06:42 PM   #9
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I believe it is in the B&N Deathspiral thread that someone pointed out Nook had been spun off into a separate company. Is the Nook ebook store a part of this separate company as well?
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Old 02-01-2013, 06:48 PM   #10
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What a bunch of idiocy. Publishing will be just fine, if B&N goes down the drain it is no big loss. Their prices are too high, their drm sucks & they are inept as evidenced by thier mishandling of the closing of Fictionwise. They deserve whatever they get, but others with more sense will jump in to fill the void.
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Old 02-01-2013, 07:33 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by NickyWithNook View Post
The book market does not ride on the existence of B&N.
Agreed. It is silly to say that without B&N there would be no more published books.
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Old 02-01-2013, 07:37 PM   #12
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And with giants like Amazon now selling more ebooks than paperbooks, I don't think the ebook market is going to plummet anytime soon.
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Old 02-01-2013, 07:37 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by david_e View Post
I believe it is in the B&N Deathspiral thread that someone pointed out Nook had been spun off into a separate company. Is the Nook ebook store a part of this separate company as well?
Yes.
Nook media includes the eBookstore, the hardware and software development group, and the B&M College bookstores.

So far B&N owns 75% of Nook Media so they can still sell off more of it to keep funding the storefronts for a couple more years. But at some point they'll have to cut the puppet strings and let Nook Media go fully independent. The sooner, the better for both sides.

And no, publishing's fate in no way depends on B&N's fate.

To even float the idea is to present a serious disconnect from the reality of modern bookselling. The whole idea that B&N is a showroom for the entire world of publishing presupposes that every single book buyer has to visit a B&N before they make a choice.
Bull-loney.

The reality is that *if * B&N goes under it will be missed--about as much as Borders is missed--but the world and publishing will roll merrily on.
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Old 02-01-2013, 09:27 PM   #14
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I think the author is exaggerating, but the loss of shelf space is a genuine concern for publishers, large and small.

Consider the trajectory of the music industry:

• The industry was padded for years off of reselling CD's to consumers who had vinyl or tape versions.
• Digital music is introduced (via piracy).
• Digital sales are introduced, and gradually increase.
• CD sales gradually decline, though they are still around 40% of sales.
• Chain stores close.
• Indie stores do not fill the gap, though some are still doing fine.
• Music labels are consolidating and/or going bankrupt.
• Artist revenues for recorded music have nearly evaporated. Some big artists and labels have made up for the losses with tours and merchandise; smaller artists, as far as I know, have not had that luxury.

Books may not follow the exact same trajectory, and several factors (pro and con) are different.
- It was commercial options, not piracy, that brought ebooks into the mainstream.
- Unlike CDs, end-users can't easily convert paper books to digital form. So, there may be a wave of re-purchasing ebooks that did not occur with the transition from CD to digital.
- Unlike musicians, authors don't have alternate revenue streams. I.e. if book/ebook sales decline, authors will directly suffer.
- Most music stores didn't have the kind of browsing experience that bookstores offer.
– When music retailers closed, there were two big online music retailers -- Apple (digital) and Amazon (CD's). If B&N closes up, Amazon will utterly dominate both the digital and physical book market.


My best guess, for what it's worth, is...
∴ Book sales will decline somewhat, though not as much as music did.
∴ There will be some consolidation, and the loss of many mid-sized and small publishers, and lots of authors will lose publisher support.
∴ There will be a glut of self-published works (some good, mostly garbage).
∴ Amazon will gain unprecedented control over an entire medium, in both digital and paper formats, for at least a decade.
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Old 02-01-2013, 10:59 PM   #15
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I think the book store will survive.
1st there will be the big store in the big mall like a Macys or in a out parcel somewhere.. Maybe a B&N, but a lot fewer than now.
2nd there will be more book racks in stores.
Target, Walmart, CVS, WAlgreens will expand their racks
and the grocery stores.
Then the smaller (like Borders, Waldens)stores will come back after a few years and they will have used books as well.
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