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I don't see a sale of B&N meaning they will shutter their bookstores. They stand to be more profitable if Borders goes under.

I do think we will see some retail space shifted to non-book items, but I think that will happen regardless of any sale. They are going to have to come up with ways to get us in the stores when we have e-readers.
 

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I think places like Sam's Club, Walmart, Costco, etc...are really eating up a lot of B&N and Borders' profits by scarfing up the new release customers. This on top of people going the way of Kindle is going to relegate B&N and Borders to novelty stores in the not so distant future IMO. It'll be like walking into a coin/baseball card collector's store. Who cares? Survival of the fittest.
 

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I live in a fairly rural area of New England and the nearest small "city" is 15 miles away.  There used to be a very nice large independant bookstore in the center of town, a very prestigious spot and at the center of everything.  Carried a pretty deep list of inventory too.  Book sales kept declining and  5 years ago they moved to a much smaller spot on a side street.  Still a cheery place but less books and much smaller and they supplement with games and toys and whatever will sell I guess.  It wasn't really ebooks that did them in initially but heavily discounted books at the Walmart and other nearby stores and the online stores.  They still feature poets and local authors and storytellers and minstrels but soon those days will be gone.

There was another small bookstore a couple miles away but now they only sell new children's books and used paperbacks at 1/2 price or less.  And they have the toys and games and all that stuff too.

For a few years the mall had a Borders but they folded 5 or 6 years ago.  Small market to support the store and online book sales had surged.

For bookstores or Publishers the old model is just impossible to sustain.  At some point most brick and mortar bookstores will only stock a very limited number of bestsellers or have to specialize for their market.  That's if they can survive.  
 

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jackz4000 said:
For bookstores or Publishers the old model is just impossible to sustain. At some point most brick and mortar bookstores will only stock a very limited number of bestsellers or have to specialize for their market. That's if they can survive.
Not necessarily. There's no reason POD can't save some brick and mortar stores - assuming there's still actual meaningful demand for them in 5-10 years. If paper remains something desired by a decent number of buyers, POD machines coming down in price may offer a good solution. Assuming some sort of aggregator comes along.
 

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A company may buy another for some specific business line. However, they rarely just shut down everything else. Liberty will try to make as much as they can from the physical stores. Unless the real estate value is more than I expect, it's likely the retail business will survive in some form.
 

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vrabinec said:
I think places like Sam's Club, Walmart, Costco, etc...are really eating up a lot of B&N and Borders' profits by scarfing up the new release customers. This on top of people going the way of Kindle is going to relegate B&N and Borders to novelty stores in the not so distant future IMO. It'll be like walking into a coin/baseball card collector's store. Who cares? Survival of the fittest.
As a writer - you should care. If bookstores disappear so that the only place to buy is Sam's Club, Walmart, Costco etc then there will be no midlist. Only "big names" will be sold.
 

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rsullivan9597 said:
As a writer - you should care. If bookstores disappear so that the only place to buy is Sam's Club, Walmart, Costco etc then there will be no midlist. Only "big names" will be sold.
I'd guess most of us aren't banking on being in a Barnes and Noble so if they disappear, it won't have much of an impact on us.

In fact, I'd go so far as to say that if it gets harder to buy paper books, the adoption of ebooks may accelerate. That should benefit us.
 

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I love paper books too. I love nearly all books! I don't want bookstores to disappear or become rare. Especially not for kids' books. Mass market and such, yeah, I'm all about the ebooks, but some books are much more practical in paper than on an ereader. It takes all kinds -- and I want all kinds to continue.
 

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I think paper will stay alive in the occassional reader market. POD should be able to fill the market nicely for stores, especially if they can do same day orders of any book.
 

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rsullivan9597 said:
As a writer - you should care. If bookstores disappear so that the only place to buy is Sam's Club, Walmart, Costco etc then there will be no midlist. Only "big names" will be sold.
This is a good point. But don't you think that is essentially inevitable given the current trends? Midlisters have been declining for a while now. It's only going to get worse as far as I can tell, so this is perhaps a chicken and an egg problem. The decline of the midlist has accelerated and will continue to accelerate the decline of bookstores. And with the decline of bookstores, only the big names will really find shelf space.

For me, while I do care, I don't think anything i do will change where we're headed.
 

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Paper books will certainly survive, possibly by widespread use of the Espresso Book Machine, or something very like it. Feed in data from online or a memory stick, and it will produce a bound paperback hardcopy in less than 4 minutes. No limit on the virtual library to draw from, so midlist and quite obscure books should be as readily accessible as any best-seller. Not a great leap to produce hardcovers also, I think.
Walmart and Costco will lose their advantages when these become used more. There were just 21 in use a while ago, only one in a bookshop, but another bookshop is installing one (Charing Cross Rd London, I believe)
 

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philvan said:
Paper books will certainly survive, possibly by widespread use of the Espresso Book Machine, or something very like it. Feed in data from online or a memory stick, and it will produce a bound paperback hardcopy in less than 4 minutes. No limit on the virtual library to draw from, so midlist and quite obscure books should be as readily accessible as any best-seller. Not a great leap to produce hardcovers also, I think.
Walmart and Costco will lose their advantages when these become used more. There were just 21 in use a while ago, only one in a bookshop, but another bookshop is installing one (Charing Cross Rd London, I believe)
And here I was thinking POD would be more like phone your order in and pick up after work, or in your lunch break. This would really be a book to go!

Edit: I just had to blog about this after seeing that video. Has anyone seen any figures on what sort of costs would be involved in this sort of machine? I know Bob has been saying POD is too expensive, but is that in reference to this sort of technology?
 

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philvan said:
Walmart and Costco will lose their advantages when these become used more. There were just 21 in use a while ago, only one in a bookshop, but another bookshop is installing one (Charing Cross Rd London, I believe)
That sounds like it might be Foyles, it's a monster store. There are a couple other stores on CCR but they are much smaller.
 

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As a side note: Borders in Australia has failed to receive an offer to buy them out. Their owners, Redgroup - who also own Angus and Robertson - declared bankruptcy earlier this year and it looks like they are off to push up some daises, rolled up their rug and gone to join the choir invisible.....

This means that A&R will need a buyer soon as well, although they were a bigger chain and will likely have more interest. The only other big chain bookstore left in Australia will be Dymocks. Great time to own a Kindle ;D
 

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The prospective purchaser of B&N has said that his main focus will be on the Nook.

Fact is, the B&N's bricks-and-mortar stores are losing money hand over fist. The digital side is doing very well.

Any purchaser (and once the Wall St ball starts rolling, it always ends in a sale to someone), will look to divest the print side as quickly as possible and refocus the company on digital (and maybe publishing to an extent).

Whoever buys B&N, it will mean a lot of store closures, for sure.

And as Robin said, this will mean that book buying will shift even more to Walmart and their ilk, restricting readers' choices as those stores only tend to stock the safe names and the bestsellers.

This will lead to a collapse in print sales for mid-list authors. It may also lead to an increased uptake in online shopping and the purchase of e-readers amongst those who want to shop outside whatever the Top 20 is that week.
 

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rsullivan9597 said:
As a writer - you should care. If bookstores disappear so that the only place to buy is Sam's Club, Walmart, Costco etc then there will be no midlist. Only "big names" will be sold.
The midlist will be online.
 

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I hope physical bookstores don't go away entirely. I really like browsing. And then I'll have to think up a new place to take dates!
 
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