I am at the PNBA trade show here in Portland and most of the vendors here are publishers and book sellers and the attendees are bookstores. I attended some classes and watching this interaction between bookstores and the fear that is shown toward eBooks is something I wanted to touch on here for a minute.
I am a author first and a publisher second. Bookstores are way down on the chain and with the eBook world taking over the bookstores are left to wonder the future. Here is the facts and some thoughts and predictions.
The local bookstore will become what we now know as a record store. They will exist for used books and the rare books or signed copies. This will drive up the cost and we could see in the future books selling for 50+ dollars per book just because they will not be printed any more.
This future may scare some but some bookstore that get this future are doing the things needed now to stay in the game. Books are a way to get content into peoples hands. eBooks are just the new way to do this same thing.
Here are some ideas to hang in there and move the local bookstore to a local e-Bookstore.
Author events and community events. This is your link, what you have to offer to people that a online store cannot. You can bring in the author and connect them to the readers. This is powerful. But doing this needs to be 3 times a week or more and the involvement in book clubs and things like that are what will keep the business in your store.
Social media. Facebook, Twitter ect are the future. If you are not using these forms of advertising and reaching out into your world you are already behind the game. All i can say is this is a from of interaction that you MUST take advantage of... MUST.
Online stores. There are many ways to do this. Have a store where you can sell books and eBooks. This takes you from a small store to a worldwide store and you can talk and sell to people all over instead of just to buyers who come in to your store. Use the social media as your new way to talk and recommend books and all the things that make you special as a store. You can do the same thing and sometimes a better job online.
The key is REACH OUT! Be the place to hang out and the place to meet the local and national authors. But in the middle of this do not forget the local starting author. You are never to big or cool to have a local signing or help one person out. If you do you will be able to be around in the future even if it is online.