The end of an era #Borders #books #writing #romance

AMAZON AWAKENING Erotic Paranormal Romance NovellaThere 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.

5 thoughts on “The end of an era #Borders #books #writing #romance”

  1. I began to notice it at our local grocery store and the Walmart here (we have no bookstore–Used or otherwise-in this town) I have to drive sixty miles to go to a major brick and mortar. Even thre the climate has gohne from “reader friendly” to one stop shopping..it isn’t as much about books as much as the various forms of spending your leisure time–music, games,gourmet coffees and candies,toys, scrapbooking,office supplies, more and more bins of bargain books on clearence.

    Just yesterday at Walamrt I noted that the MM paperback sections were reduced yet again down to three sections and many were re-releases with different covers. That section used to be at least eight or better sections in size. Granted many hardcover books and trades have replaced them, but many of those are re-releases as well.
    There are definte changes in the wind.

  2. You are completely right. Checking my local bookstore , I did notice the lack of mm books in every section it seemed to me and a bigger section with the e-readers; books are not the biggest sales items in the store; toys, games fancy doodads are filling lots of space.

  3. Hello. I just want to mention that I am also saddened with the shrinkage of the romance section at bookstores and stores like Meijer and Target. I buy some of my romance novels online and I buy them at stores not only because of the prices, but when I buy a novel at the store at regular price, I know that the authors and publishers depend on that money to make a living. If the only place to buy a romance novel was online for only 99 cents, then I would think that many authors/publishers would go out of business because they cannot make a living earning 99 cents per book.
    So please, everyone, it is okay to buy a book online for very cheap but still buy books at your favorite bookstore so that your favorite authors/publishers can stay around for a long time. I know I will still buy both online and at Barnes and Noble here in town.

    –Andrew Grigaliunas
    agrigaliunas@yahoo.com

  4. There seems to be a stigma attached to those of us who read romances that the books are either rubbish and give no learnings. I beg to differ and find that I learn something new that I would have not known or even thought of exploring if I had not read a romance that had it first. Because romance is so easy going I find that I tend to read them in between reading all the boring non fiction stuff that one has to do in the work place!

    I too have noticed that the romance section in the bookstores have gotten smaller. I mean why have two rows of Travel guides and only a small section on one shelf to have the romances displayed?!! Who is the clever person – I imagine it all plays down to GREED and more profits – selfishness and lack of understanding of what romances novels can do for society ;o)

    I find it a treat to go browsing when shopping for new books to read and should I no longer have this available to me this means that instead of trying out new authors I’ll stay with the ones I know. As I only buy print at the moment this will be a sad loss!

    Rita from South AFrica

  5. I’ve been reflecting on this topic this past week. I visited my local bookstore for the second time this year. Back before Borders imploded, I used to visit it every week. Sometimes twice a week. But now, I usually can’t find what I’m looking for in my remaining local bookstore. It’s gotten to the point that I do most of my shopping online, but you’re right: it’s not the same.

    I hear that Books a Million is expanding and remain hopeful I’ll see one in my area soon. I truly miss having a romance-friendly bookstore to frequent.

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