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Old 01-28-2009, 04:23 PM   #1
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Borders stocking fewer new titles

Borders has cut book orders across the board, and, as reported by Dear Author, is not stocking Lois McMaster Bujold’s Horizons in their stores. This is at a minimum an indication of financial difficulties at Borders. The reason this might effect ebook readers is that gift cards are worthless in the US when a company files for bankruptcy. So be careful if you are sitting on gift cards with the intent of buying a Sony Reader with them.
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Old 01-28-2009, 04:47 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wallcraft View Post
Borders has cut book orders across the board, and, as reported by Dear Author, is not stocking Lois McMaster Bujold’s Horizons in their stores. This is at a minimum an indication of financial difficulties at Borders. The reason this might effect ebook readers is that gift cards are worthless in the US when a company files for bankruptcy. So be careful if you are sitting on gift cards with the intent of buying a Sony Reader with them.

Unfortunately, they're having some financial difficulty.

See this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Borders_Group

and the sub-head, "Financial Difficulties."


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Old 01-28-2009, 06:02 PM   #3
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This makes me so sad. I'm really rooting for these guys to make it. I worked for them for several years, and going to their stores is still a pleasure. They have a much better selection than B&N, and I like their customer service.

I hope this new CEO doesn't screw them over.
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Old 01-28-2009, 06:52 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by wallcraft View Post
Borders has cut book orders across the board, and, as reported by Dear Author, is not stocking Lois McMaster Bujold’s Horizons in their stores.
They're not carrying my new book, either. Nor did they carry my Battlestar Galactica novelization in mass market paperback a couple of years ago. So this has been going on for a while.
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Old 01-28-2009, 07:28 PM   #5
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This makes me so sad. I'm really rooting for these guys to make it. I worked for them for several years, and going to their stores is still a pleasure. They have a much better selection than B&N, and I like their customer service.
Interesting comments. I, too, worked for the Borders Group years ago (worked for them for about 3 years) and was surprised they were able to stay in business even back then. I never found their customer service to be praiseworthy.

In contrast, I am quite fond of B&N. In my community, the B&N has always had a better selection than Borders, a better laid out store (and brighter, more conducive to shopping), better management, and far superior customer service.

I wonder if it is a gepgraphical phenomenon.
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Old 01-28-2009, 08:22 PM   #6
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I'm a little sad to hear this as I've got a lot of fond memories of Borders (the UK Division).

I First found Borders when I Moved to Brighton, England in 2000 from India, and found something I fell into love with Immediately, A larg friendly Bookstore with a Great collection of Books, especially SF, Fantasy, Graphic Novels, etc and with a lot of comfortable sitting areas and a Cafe.

Now keep in mind that until then Most bookstores I had access to were small ones, which often had great selections, but barely any room or no room to move inside. The ones I had seen which were close were Crossword's in India, which were a poor copy of the Borders model and had a really limited selection and outrageous prices. And the other was Jarir (I Think, I forgot the exact spelling) in Jeddah, KSA which while having a decent selection, was heavily censored, so a lot of SF&F never made it there.

I ended up spending too much time and money there in the two years I was there, as I Would usually end up there 3 or 4 times a week after finishing classes at five and stay there until ten, and usually end up buying a book or two or three that I really wanted to finish. I didn't really appreciate this model until later, as while I might have read ten times as many books as I bought, I still ended up buying more then I would ever have If I had not gotten a relatively risk free way to try out new authors and genre's.

Still, Even here I can see that things have changed, with the London Borders which I used to love and visit every chance I get it no longer seems to be that good, especially as I can usually get most books cheaper online or in ebook. While I do miss the browsing experience, it is still not enough to get me to go to a super crowded store and pay a third or half as much for my books for that experience.
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Old 01-28-2009, 10:36 PM   #7
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I never liked Borders until I started frequenting the one by my office. The customer service there is awesome and they really go out of their way when you ask for help.

I still find a lot more books I am interested in reading by browsing the bookstore than I do on-line shopping. For that reason, I make a habit of not walking out empty handed (usually buying a cookbook, magazine or cd instead).

I never understood them (or any book retailer) selling the Sony eReader without selling eBooks. I really think the b&m stores need to offer the ability to e-versions that can be transfered to your eReader on purchase.
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Old 01-29-2009, 12:35 AM   #8
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Unfortunately they probably need to shake up their management and get a better online marketing effort. 'Hopefully' the CEO has some ideas on how to modernise the company and take advantage of the opportunities the new technologies provide. As much as we all love the smell and feel of physical books, they will probably be rare in 20 years time (similar to vinyl, still around but for book fanatics only), bookstores need to be on top of technology.
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Old 01-29-2009, 12:53 AM   #9
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Borders has a lot of books that are Available Online Only.
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Old 01-29-2009, 01:11 AM   #10
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Honestly, I can't say that I'm especially surprised. Given the state of the global economy, they are probably focusing on top sellers. No slight against any authors reading this. Sadly, the best sellers aren't necessarily of the highest written quality.
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Old 01-29-2009, 01:19 AM   #11
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What it means is the days of browsing in the store to find what you might want could be over given that a lot of titles won't be there.
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Old 01-29-2009, 06:59 AM   #12
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About 2.5 years ago I noticed that they started a huge returns at the Tri-County location in Cincinnati, virtually eliminating back-list overstock. (I worked for over 20 years at a bookstore, even as a buyer, so I know exactly what I'm talking about on my post here specifically regarding books.)

I loved that store because there were "regulars," (of which I was one), and we would all get together at no prearranged time and start discussing - among other topics - our absolute disgust and hatred of Bush and his failed economics and War(s) and murdering of young men in which he had involved us; or else we talked about literature and film, all of us moving fluidly from topic to topic as we drank our latte or capuchino, and then resumed reading.

It was a diverse group, no membership, just discussion and reading, and soaking in the ambiance. Sometimes, someone sitting around would show us the book(s) he or she had just bought, and then a new discussion would be started.

The staff was knowledgable, quirkly, talented, and very good at what they did.

I was honored to be counted as one of the regulars at that bookstore....but I spent way too much money there, having bought my first e-ink display (Sony PRS-500) there.

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Old 01-29-2009, 09:21 AM   #13
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Unfortunately for me I took them off my weekly bookstore cycle when they came up with the brilliant idea to make books more visible by stocking them cover out instead of spine out. Of course this took more room so they had to reduce stock in other books. Other books that weren't top sellers or on the push list.

I still go to the local one but just once a week instead of every weekend. But it's getting harder to justify that. It's just been to long since they had anything I wanted available. (Well, that's not strictly true. They did have a couple nice manuals for Joomla I liked but the store price was actually HIGHER than the price printed on the books!) Plus the last time I went in even more shelves were devoted to cover-out book placement. (Yes, I know the Twilight thing is hot but enough to dedicate 50% of your front to? Umm, no. If you are going to waste that much space at least know your audience. Put it closer to the coffee area instead of your walk-in.)
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Old 01-29-2009, 09:29 AM   #14
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Unfortunately for me I took them off my weekly bookstore cycle when they came up with the brilliant idea to make books more visible by stocking them cover out instead of spine out. Of course this took more room so they had to reduce stock in other books. Other books that weren't top sellers or on the push list.

I still go to the local one but just once a week instead of every weekend. But it's getting harder to justify that. It's just been to long since they had anything I wanted available. (Well, that's not strictly true. They did have a couple nice manuals for Joomla I liked but the store price was actually HIGHER than the price printed on the books!) Plus the last time I went in even more shelves were devoted to cover-out book placement. (Yes, I know the Twilight thing is hot but enough to dedicate 50% of your front to? Umm, no. If you are going to waste that much space at least know your audience. Put it closer to the coffee area instead of your walk-in.)
They only do it cover out on the main sections shelves to take up space when there is lots of extra room (or if there isn't room and cover out takes up less space than spine out when there are mutliple copies).
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Old 01-29-2009, 02:31 PM   #15
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They only do it cover out on the main sections shelves to take up space when there is lots of extra room (or if there isn't room and cover out takes up less space than spine out when there are multiple copies).
Then I fear for someones job since they seem to be failing at it. On my last trip covers accounted for almost half of all the shelves I hit up (front, technical, humor, current events, social). That would mean they are not replacing books that are sold due to non-ordering or non-receiving. Either side of that argument is bad news.

Though I suppose it could be an accounting decision then. "Book-A only sold a few copies last year so don't reorder it." Repeat procedure for anything not selling as well as the front list. Then yell at book peons for the empty look of the shelves so more cover-outs get used. You know, that oddly enough makes sense for the large usage of covers. Bad business sense but understandable corporate sense.

Might be time to start chatting up the coffee folk again. They get all the best inside store info and now I'm curious. (Plus the coffee ain't to shabby.)
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