There is an interesting article in Businessweek about the end of Borders that every reader and author should take a moment to peruse. Sadly, it confirms many of my impressions on why Borders came to an end and it has nothing to do with a lack of demand for print books and a lot to do with a number of other things.
The article made me think back to the days of Waldenbooks with their monthly romance newsletter and the many romance experts that Borders was lucky to inherit when they took over the chain. With such focus and support on one of the best-selling genres in publishing, it was always a pleasure to visit one of these stores and their fantastic booksellers!
Which makes me think of what’s happening now in a lot of the bookstores, especially with romance. Although the article mentions that bookstores are adding sales of educational toys and books which are higher profit items, it seems to me they are doing so at the expense of mass market books, especially romance novels. That section is getting smaller and smaller and not only in bookstores, but also in department stores that have book sections.
As a romance reader and writer, it’s a trend that worries me. If readers can’t go to the store and browse the romance section, the other place to go is the Internet. But if they do that, how will they browse? How will they find newer authors? Will it relegate authors to doing the .99 cent deal in order to get attention? If that’s the case, will readers ever go beyond .99 for a digital book?
I’d love to hear your take on what’s happening in your local stores and where you are shopping for romance now.