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Friday, October 30, 2009

Evolve = Adapt = Survive

There was a great article in the Huffington Post recently called Evolve or Die: Why Reinvent Independent Bookstores? by Praveen Madan and Christin Evans.

The article covers some startling facts, such as an average of about 200 independent booksellers closing their doors a year in the U.S.

The authors go through a list of the various factors likely leading to this dramatic extinction (or slaughter if you prefer) of an ongoing traditional fixture in local communities. It's about a dramatic explosion in competition, from price-slashing retail monsters like WalMart to the ever convenient explosion of internet book stores.

However, despite the depressing and very frightening realities that the authors discuss in their article, they make a point that all is not lost.

Here is a quote from the article
"So far you haven't heard anything new. We believe that this is a time of great opportunity for independent bookstores. What? Go back and read that again. Wait a minute, didn't we just write the obituary of the independent bookstore?

We believe that independent bookstores can have a great future and we are betting our careers on it. What makes us optimistic in the face of all the doom and gloom surrounding independent bookstores? New opportunities that can help independent bookstores reinvent and reinvigorate their businesses. New opportunities being made possible by a publishing industry in turmoil, new opportunities being served up by new technologies, new opportunities we can identify if we pay attention to the unmet needs of our customers."

Then they go on to list 5 potential new opportunities and supporting details for each.

1) Literary Community Building
2) Author Services
3) Enhancing the Browsing Experience
4) Print on Demand
5) New Markets
Since the article is well thought out and written, it's best for you to go read it in its entirety.

Like me, you'll likely want to keep an eye on updated articles from these authors on this subject via The Huffington Post.

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