Back in the day we used to have tons of independent bookstores across the land. As a youngster I dreamed of owning my own book store someday. I was so hopeful. The big box book store didn’t really exist in the 70′s. That changed. Waldenbooks, Crown, and others popped up. And then they were swallowed up by Borders and Barnes and Noble. Well, now Borders is done. So that leaves Barnes and Noble, besides a smattering of independent book stores, to keep the print book from dying off. I mean who else has the power to keep book store shelves full of print books and magazines? The only one is Barnes and Noble. That’s the problem with massive monopolistic, corporate businesses… once they win, the products that they control, the ones we love, can easily go by the wayside. Anyway, I digress.
So accordingly it is the publishers who love B & N and shun Amazon. Amazon is the three-headed monster who has ran independents and the big box stores into near bankruptcy. Amazon offers great deals. They also have incredible control over their products (Kindle) and eBooks too in some ways (the eBook which may ultimately kill off the paperback). Publishers want, no they need Barnes and Noble to survive. After all… Amazon offers its own publishing service but no brick and mortar to sell paperbacks. Publishers are scared. B & N is struggling with sales as compared to Amazon’s numbers. Isn’t it like $700 million versus $88 billion? WOW!
So what will happen? I don’t know. But I’m leaning towards B & N shrinking after their attempted try at expanding outside of the US. This shrink will take time. But I think it’s inevitable. eBooks will lead the way as much as I hate to say it. And even though Barnes and Noble has the Nook, Amazon offers so many more products that they will eventually buy B & N out… someday.
So there you have it. The future of the paperback is the way of the dinosaur. I wish it weren’t true. I love paperbacks. I love independent book stores. I grew up with them. Damn…
For more info on this topic click HERE. CNBC posted a New York Times article on this exact topic, hence my inspiration to bring up a couple points.