By Denise Turney
Publishing companies and booksellers are experiencing industry changes at a pace unlike that seen in recent decades. The only other industry that has experienced changes at as rapid a pace might be the music industry.
Over the last two decades, technology changed the music industry, permanently, so that there’s no chance of going back to the way things were before file sharing and music downloading took off. Now technology is changing the book industry, forcing book publishing companies and booksellers to hang on . . . wait out the final shifting result. For example, today mobile devices and e-book readers make it possible for readers to download, preview, purchase and start reading books without having to visit a bookstore or library.
Responding to Changes Impacting the Book Industry
This welcomed convenience may be causing book lovers to visit bookstores in smaller numbers. When I asked one bookseller about the challenges this trend causes, he told me that booksellers who stock rare books may be able to withstand the growing changes technology is bringing to the book industry. This might be true for booksellers as well as for publishing companies. Perhaps booksellers and publishing companies that market, shelve and sell tough-to-find offline books can set themselves apart, continuing to thrive in changing markets.
In addition to selling rare books, to stay relevant, attracting the attention of large numbers of book readers, booksellers could host book club events and host weekly radio programs that focus on current and upcoming events at their brick and mortar stores. They could also schedule interviews with popular local authors, organize literary events at schools and develop and distribute print and digital book reviews.
Publishing companies could hire writers to research and write e-books, how-to books and educational nonfiction books that cover common topics from uncommon angles. They can also hire writers to develop content in unique styles, ones that are rarely found on the market.
Booksellers Win by Making Readers Comfortable
Whatever steps booksellers and publishing companies take to engage book readers, they might have to do something they aren’t comfortable doing. For example, they might have to charge book clubs a fee to use their services. They also might have to ask authors to commit to marketing their book signings, helping to bring in dozens of readers rather than showing up to book signings with nothing except a pen and a box of books.
In regards to booksellers, bearing that they have the space, booksellers can also rent out meeting rooms to business and community leaders. By placing computers and WiFi in their bookstores and offering healthy food and beverages at their stores, booksellers might be able to attract a broader audience.
It’s going to take creativity and innovation, the same type of innovation that’s moving technology forward at warped speeds, for bookstores, and some publishing companies, to survive. Years from now, booksellers and publishing companies that are up for the challenge might be the lone rangers that not only survived, but also thrived, changes currently impacting the book industry.
Thank you for reading my blog. To learn what happens to Raymond, Brenda and the other characters in Love Pour Over Me, hop over to Amazon.com, B&N.com, Ebookit.comand get your copy of Love Pour Over Me today. And again I say – Thank You! Consider Love.