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Old 02-01-2013, 11:35 PM   #16
hidari
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95% of the world's population lives outside of the United States.....So my guess is that a few publishing companies will survive the end of B&N....
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Old 02-01-2013, 11:51 PM   #17
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I read books:
• When the subject intrests me.
• Author that I am following.
• Books that has been discussed in media and/or social media.
• Books that I have read about on the culture part in the paper.

I rarely visiting a book store for inspiration, other when I am buying things for the office.
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Old 02-02-2013, 12:16 AM   #18
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Less shelf space? So what?
That would simply be right-sizing.
Between online and ebooks there is less need for shelf space.
Besides once you factor in returns there is an excess of 25-50% shelf space out there. Pure waste. Even after B&N reduced the floorspace they devote to books.
Also, the BPHs are reducing print runs and the mega-mergers are going to mean less titles total. Add in the 25% of business that has moved to digital and truth is there is a glut of wasted shelf space out there. Most of it inside the B&N warehouse stores.
Truth is the entire consignment system needs to go before anybody need worry about shelf space. None of the lost shelf space at Borders and B&N was generating any actual net revenue. And there is still loads of wasted space out there.
Plenty of downsizing still to come at B&N.
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Old 02-02-2013, 07:21 AM   #19
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The biggest problem is the pricing disparity. Even at B&N, there is a significant difference between what a book costs in the physicalk store and what it costs online. I used to buy 95% of my hardcover purchases at my local B&N store, but then then changed the member discount from 20% to 10%. This created a huge pricing gap between what a book was discounted online (often 28% or more) and in the store (10%) -- a gap that became more than I was willing to foot considering the number of hardcover books I buy each year (50+). So B&N moved me from an instore customer to an online customer.

The problem that physical bookstores will have to face in the future is the pricing disparity. The easiest way around that is for the b&m stores to offer something unique, something that cannot be bought at an online store and/or for the publishers to invest in the b&m stores to turn them into a showroom. I suppose a third option might be to change the current system of distribution and payment to follow more closely the model used in the American automobile industry, which assures a profit on the sale of every automobile, even on one bought at dealer invoice price.

I do think that the demise of b&m stores will be disastrous for publishers and authors. I realize that many members of MR do not step foot into a b&m bookstore, but as with most other things ebook related, MR members are not the average bookbuyer. Authors and books are often discovered by readers in b&m bookstores, even if the books are bought online.

Last edited by rhadin; 02-03-2013 at 07:51 AM. Reason: correct misspelling
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Old 02-02-2013, 07:55 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by rhadin View Post
The biggest problem is the pricing disparity. Even at B&N, there is a significant difference between what a book costs in the physicalk store and what it costs online. I used to buy 95% of my hardcover purchases at my local B&N store, but then then changed the member discount from 20% to 10%. This created a huge pricing gap between what a book was discounted online (often 28% or more) and in the store (10%) -- a gap that became more than I was willing to foot considering the number of hardcover books I buy each year (50+). So B&N moved me from an instore customer to an online customer.

The problem that physical bookstores will have to face in the future is the pricing disparity. The easiest way around that is for the b&m stores to offer something uniques, something that cannot be bought at an online store and/or for the publishers to invest in the b&m stores to turn them into a showroom. I suppose a third option might be to change the current system of distribution and payment to follow more closely the model used in the American automobile industry, which assures a profit on the sale of every automobile, even on one bought at dealer invoice price.

I do think that the demise of b&m stores will be disastrous for publishers and authors. I realize that many members of MR do not step foot into a b&m bookstore, but as with most other things ebook related, MR members are not the average bookbuyer. Authors and books are often discovered by readers in b&m bookstores, even if the books are bought online.
I too believe this.
small authors and new authors and their publishers will hurt
big authors and old authors and their publishers will prosper
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Old 02-02-2013, 08:47 AM   #21
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In regard to the O.P. - YES, publishing will continue. Barnes and Nobel are not publishers, they are retailers.

Last edited by kennyc; 02-02-2013 at 10:31 AM.
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Old 02-02-2013, 08:51 AM   #22
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That may be true for the technologically challgenged however for the majority of us here we have no need for a book showroom. I will probably buy a hundred books this year and I will never set foot in a show room ever. I have no need for a show room. Neither does the book publishing industry.
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Old 02-02-2013, 09:50 AM   #23
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Obviously Johnson is looking at his own company's financials, and projecting.

Will publishing survive? Yes. Will publishing decline? Depends what you mean. In number of new titles available as eBooks, no. Financially, yes. Publishing that offers substantial advances has already declined. Publishing that turns a weak manuscript into an outstanding one? Hard to say, but, probably, yes to decline.

US publishing can't exactly die because of non-profit university presses backed by endowment money. Universities want their publishing arms to be self-supporting, but if that can't be, they won't generally let them die.

Also, there always will be self-publishing, and always will be vanity presses. It's a matter of defining your terms.

Last edited by SteveEisenberg; 02-02-2013 at 09:52 AM.
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Old 02-02-2013, 02:07 PM   #24
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Obviously Johnson is looking at his own company's financials, and projecting.

Will publishing survive? Yes.
Of course there will allways be publishing. It is an activity that anybody and everybody can practice. We're doing it right now.

What Johnson and compatriots fret about is the pbook business as *they* know it. With all its disfunctions, inefficiencies, and legacy peculiarities that continue today even though they ceased making sense decades ago.

They fear the loss of a nice and cosy business they are used to and fear even more having to learn a whole new way of doing things. They just want things to endure... at least until their golden parachutes vest.

The problem is the outside world recently knocked down the walls of their cosy little "utopia", exposing it to the bright light of modern reality. So they fret about the loss of the last champion of their "orthodoxy" even though it is far from a certainty or even imminent, merely a likely event.

And, of course, when orthodox utopias are challenged the knee-jerk reaction is to circle the wagons and try to kill the messenger. So far, "circle the wagons" has brought ebook windowing (lasted 3 months), a price-fix conspiracy (lasted about 2 years depending on how you define the endpoints), a pair of megamergers in the making, and now wistful talk of the BPHs banding together yet again, to save their "champion".

Some might think that changing the ownership/funding of B&N might not achieve much as long as B&N's retailing business model continues to require higher prices (and near-zero profits) for the exact same product that other channels can deliver at acceptable profits.

But hey, if they keep throwing ideas out there, they might throw out one that won't be D.O.A., right?
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Old 02-02-2013, 09:56 PM   #25
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In the interview, Johnson claims that 40-50% of Amazon book sales are done after showrooming. He claims there are other stats that support this. Does anyone know where they are?

I think Johnson is being a bit alarmist by claiming that B&N will die all of a sudden.

However, maybe publishers should also try to figure out about how to prevent showrooming from the other side: creating better online methods of discovery. If 40-50% of online sales proceed after showrooming, then there must be some inadequacy in how people find books online.
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Old 02-02-2013, 10:26 PM   #26
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No he's simply wrong. I get more and better info from amazon and on line than in stores....
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Old 02-03-2013, 03:46 AM   #27
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Agreed. It is silly to say that without B&N there would be no more published books.
Especially when one considers the fact that B&N only have stores in one country. Does this person seriously think that all publishing, world-wide, will collapse as a result of the closure of a chain of bookstores that only serves about 5% of people?
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Old 02-03-2013, 03:50 AM   #28
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Especially when one considers the fact that B&N only have stores in one country. Does this person seriously think that all publishing, world-wide, will collapse as a result of the closure of a chain of bookstores that only serves about 5% of people?
"Chicken Little?"
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Old 02-03-2013, 10:51 AM   #29
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I have to admit I use B&N as a showroom because I enjoy going out and perusing the shelves. There's something about walking through the shelves that just calms me. I like grabbing a peppermint hot chocolate and then socializing with my friends/wife/kids as we peruse. My personal trainer (ie wife) also likes the fact that I am away from the computer and getting a little excercise!!

I don't buy anything there, unless it is a hardcover that goes in a set I've been collecting or one of my top-top favorite authors. I prefer eBooks and a pBook has to be very special to earn a spot in my bookshelves!

Plus, sometimes there is a great cover or display that catches my eye and I might pick up a new author... Yes, that is also possible to do in an online catalog - but it is much easier to miss a book when it is a small thumbnail in a list of thousands. There is also something to be said for a large publishing company doing a little filtering of what ends up on the shelves (not much, but something), the books at the store usually have a certain level of quality of content/writing. The publisher has determined that the story is worth investing their time and money.

I can easily see the stores getting smaller - I would hate to see fewer of them - but less square footage is less expensive. If they carry only a few copies of each book, a display copy and a few for those who really want a pBook (at a premium of course), then point people to their "convenient and free wifi" to download the book instantly...I think that would work.
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Old 02-03-2013, 01:17 PM   #30
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And smell like restaurants.
Ha, so true!
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