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Old 09-16-2013, 02:27 PM   #1
AnemicOak
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James Patterson to give 1 million to indie bookstores

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BEST-SELLING AUTHOR JAMES PATTERSON REVEALS THAT HE WILL DONATE $1 MILLION TO INDEPENDENT BOOKSTORES – ON “CBS THIS MORNING”

PATTERSON TELLS CO-HOSTS CHARLIE ROSE, NORAH O’DONNELL AND GAYLE KING, “BOOKSTORES ARE DISAPPEARING, A LOT OF LIBRARIES ARE DISAPPEARING” AND “THIS IS NOT A GOOD THING”
http://www.cbspressexpress.com/cbs-n.../view?id=36610
Video Clip

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GAYLE KING: Why?

JAMES PATTERSON: We’re making this transition to e-books and that’s fine and good and terrific and wonderful, but we’re not doing it in an organized, sane, civilized way. So what’s happening right now is a lot of bookstores are disappearing, a lot of libraries are disappearing or they’re not being funded, school libraries aren’t being funded as well. This is not a good thing. It used to be you could find books everywhere. You go to Sweden, Sweden has 8 million people, a book will sell a million copies there.
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Old 09-16-2013, 03:27 PM   #2
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I'm sure the libraries can use any extra money they can get, especially those libraries in schools. But is it really realistic to divide $1 million between any amount of indie books stores and libraries and expect that it's not just delaying the inevitable?

Any business needs to be able to keep selling their product to stay in business, and unless he's got a plan for Independents to follow that will help them keep selling on their own, it won't work.

I mean, I'm glad he cares enough to give, but split that million up too far, with no real plan on it changing the way people do business, it may easily be too little, too late.

I don't think it sounds like he has a plan that's going to be more than a small band-aid.
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Old 09-16-2013, 03:49 PM   #3
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JAMES PATTERSON: We’re making this transition to e-books and that’s fine and good and terrific and wonderful, but we’re not doing it in an organized, sane, civilized way. So what’s happening right now is a lot of bookstores are disappearing, a lot of libraries are disappearing or they’re not being funded, school libraries aren’t being funded as well. This is not a good thing. It used to be you could find books everywhere. You go to Sweden, Sweden has 8 million people, a book will sell a million copies there.
I honestly have no idea what any of this means.
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Old 09-16-2013, 04:46 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by holymadness View Post
I honestly have no idea what any of this means.
Glad it's not just me then....
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Old 09-16-2013, 05:22 PM   #5
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Fret not.
Neither does Patterson.
(Remember his clueless ad from a few months ago?)
He is willing to put his wallet where his mouth is but he'd be better off educating himself on the economics of a free and open market before throwing money (that will achieve little) around.

There is nothing disorganized or irrational about the mainstreaming of ebooks in the US (price fix conspiracy and all); it is following what is by now a standard path for digital migration. My best guess is that what has Patterson bewildered is the fast emergence of a strong indie publishing segment and the increasing marginalization of the cozy Manhattan publishing establishment.

He could throw a hundred million at indies and he would still fail to stem the tide.
Now, throwing a hundred million to libraries would be useful but not in ways he would approve of.

Edit: Somebody send Patterson here:
http://pcwrede.com/blog/the-more-things-change/

Last edited by fjtorres; 09-16-2013 at 05:57 PM.
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Old 09-16-2013, 06:31 PM   #6
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It used to be you could find books everywhere.
It wasn't until e-books that I could easily and instantly get books that I want to read, and in the language that I prefer.

I understand that he refers to paper books, but to me, the content is the book, not the material used to deliver the content. Small and independent stores closing is not limited to the book market, either.
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Old 09-16-2013, 06:38 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Mivo View Post
It wasn't until e-books that I could easily and instantly get books that I want to read, and in the language that I prefer.

I understand that he refers to paper books, but to me, the content is the book, not the material used to deliver the content. Small and independent stores closing is not limited to the book market, either.
The fact is that you *couldn't* find books everywhere (before Amazon).
The mythical golden age that Patterson and co bemoan never existed.
It wasn't all that long ago that a third of all hardcovers were sold in NYC--200 million people bought twice as many books as 10 million--because the books weren't available outside the big cities.
(1978, btw)

Last edited by fjtorres; 09-16-2013 at 06:43 PM.
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Old 09-17-2013, 05:48 AM   #8
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I agree that school libraries need more help, and so do regular libraries, though. I don't think this is a result of the rise of ebooks, however. This is more a result of the recession and financial problems. Is library patronage in the US is dropping, anyway?

I'm also confused by the idea of an orderly etc transition to ebooks. If Patterson believes that we will completely transition to ebooks soon(which I doubt), isn't the decline of physical bookstores inevitable anyway? So the problem is that they're not shutting down in an orderly fashion?

Personally, I think the transition would be more "civilized" if the following things happened:
1. Prices of e-readers and tablets dropped. Right now e-ink readers seem to have ceased dropping in price, which is unfortunate.

2. Big publishers adopted a more "civilized" attitude about e-books in libraries.

3. If Amazon faced more serious competition in ebooks (in the US). B&N can't do it because of the strategy tax they need to pay. (In other words, if Amazon's book customers switch from ordering physical books to buying Kindle books, this is good for Amazon. But if B&N gets its book customers to switch to ebooks, this not good for the stores.)
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Old 09-17-2013, 05:54 AM   #9
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With the money needed for even one retail store the stay in business long term, $1,000,000.00 is a pittance.
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Old 09-17-2013, 05:58 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by charmian View Post
Is library patronage in the US is dropping, anyway?
I quit going to the library when the internet appeared. If physical libraries and bookstores disappeared, it wouldn't bother me in the least.
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Old 09-17-2013, 07:07 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by DuskyRose View Post
I'm sure the libraries can use any extra money they can get, especially those libraries in schools. But is it really realistic to divide $1 million between any amount of indie books stores and libraries and expect that it's not just delaying the inevitable?

Any business needs to be able to keep selling their product to stay in business, and unless he's got a plan for Independents to follow that will help them keep selling on their own, it won't work.

I mean, I'm glad he cares enough to give, but split that million up too far, with no real plan on it changing the way people do business, it may easily be too little, too late.

I don't think it sounds like he has a plan that's going to be more than a small band-aid.
Give an indie bookstore a fish and they will survive for one more meal....teach an indie store to fish and ...
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Old 09-17-2013, 07:11 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by fjtorres View Post
....
Edit: Somebody send Patterson here:
http://pcwrede.com/blog/the-more-things-change/
From that link:
Quote:
And one of the things that has bugged me about the book business, right from the start, is the way business decisions and business discussions are driven by emotions and rumor, often to the exclusion of facts, logic, and common sense.
sounds like the stock market....

And:

Quote:
...The real problem, as I see it, is that people don’t like change. They don’t like not knowing how the system works, and they really don’t like not being able to find anyone they trust who is willing to explain the new system to them (even if the explanation is wrong).

Last edited by kennyc; 09-17-2013 at 07:49 AM.
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Old 09-17-2013, 07:14 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by kennyc View Post
Give an indie bookstore a fish and they will survive for one more meal....teach an indie store to fish and ...
...or

give an indie bookstore an ebook and they'll survive one more day, but teach them how to pirate ebooks and they'll stay in business forever
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Old 09-17-2013, 07:23 AM   #14
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I think what Patterson might be getting at here is to keep books within reach of lower income families. Those that don't really have access to ereaders and the like, although I don't see how they'd opt for getting any books if they are struggling to make ends meet.
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Old 09-17-2013, 07:28 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by tubemonkey View Post
...or

give an indie bookstore an ebook and they'll survive one more day, but teach them how to pirate ebooks and they'll stay in business forever
So Long and Thanks for the Fish.

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