Yowza . . .
Yesterday, Nathan Bransford (http://blog.nathanbransford.com) quite upset my apple-cart in a blog entitled Buckle Up. Even the title implied a scary ride into the future. In quoting a global commentator on the publishing world, the following was pointed out:
‘that brick and mortar stores’ share of the (book) marketplace will likely plummet from approximately 72% of the market today to 25% in five years. (The other 25% in the print market will be made up of print sales via online booksellers.)
72% to 25%. Five years. Yowza.’
The whole thing concerned me on two fronts. Firstly I love bookshops! I have talked about the esoteric value of bookshops to me as a reader in previous posts. To be able to touch and then choose before purchase will always be my preferred method of buying a book. Always. Besides in the case of my favourite bookstores, I know the staff and I love the time they take to read and then place reviews around the shop. I love the personalised nature of the whole thing. It’s worth every penny. In addition, as an Indie published writer, bricks and mortar stores sold more of my books than the online sellers.
That’s not to say I don’t buy from the online sellers because I do. And for reasons of my published books, I am entirely grateful to them, because the titles have indeed sold. But my feeling is that because it IS a GFC world in which we live and people don’t want to waste money, are they not more inclined to visit their local bricks and mortar stores and literally try before buying as opposed to buying on a whim online?
My second problem is that because I am a writer, previously Indie-published but hoping for mainstream mid-listing one day, I feel even more insecure. If all these bookshops close down, if e-books and online selling become the way of it, won’t there be a natural shrinking of mid-lists, let alone publicising of new and exciting authors? Will we have new and exciting authors, or will the mainstream houses stick to their safe-bets? Or will it be the Indie houses who take the risks and get the unknowns out there?
Yep, Nathan’s blog really set me thinking and my seat belt is really buckled up tight, I can tell you!