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Book and Film Discussions > Why bookstores aren't full of bestsellers?

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message 1: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 15696 comments With the current system of trad publishing, where it's hard enough to get an agent and even harder - a publisher, you'd expect that any book that passes through such a multi-layer selection would be at Sharkespeare's + level. Yet, when you enter a bookstore comprising mostly trad published titles, the actual assortment is not that exciting and most titles don't sell that much. How come?


Tara Woods Turner | 2063 comments Readers still have to love it.


message 3: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 15696 comments Tara wrote: "Readers still have to love it."

Sure, but agents and publishers pretend to know what they would -:)


Tara Woods Turner | 2063 comments Lol, at the end of the day it is an art and ot a science, no? i think this also explains the rise of the novella and the explosion of micro niches in fiction. Trad publishers and agents will have to find ways to keep their fingers on the pulse of modern readers. Indies may even have a slight advantage in this area. After all, we write what we want and have no analysts or so-called trend experts telling us which formulas we should use to make the publishers happy. Our disadvantage lies in the fact that we, as a community, lack crucial marketing muscle and often fail to professionalize every aspect of our craft.


message 5: by M.L. (new)

M.L. Bookstores carry a lot of books that continually sell and they also segment by genre and new releases, so plenty of title to browse for. It's hard to walk out of a bookstore without something!


Tara Woods Turner | 2063 comments Those books don't have long to make a good impression. After a few weeks it's off to the bargain bin. Daunting.


message 7: by M.L. (new)

M.L. But I look at the bargain bin! I buy some too from Amazon, remainder mark. Piles of remainder mark bargains at BN. Many books stay on the shelf. What is interesting too are the tables for high schools, etc. Then there are the independent sellers that are making a comeback. It's a dynamic time.


Tara Woods Turner | 2063 comments Dynamic is a good description. Hooray for independent booksellers!


message 9: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 15696 comments M.L. wrote: " It's hard to walk out of a bookstore without something!"

The question is whether that 'something' is usually of a masterpiece level, as that's something you expect if the book made it through rigorous agents and selective publishers -:)


message 10: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11472 comments The publisher is not looking for the next Shakespeare - he is looking for something that will make a profit. The net result is, he is usually looking for something that is like something else that made a profit. No winning here!


message 11: by M.L. (new)

M.L. Nik wrote: "M.L. wrote: " It's hard to walk out of a bookstore without something!"

The question is whether that 'something' is usually of a masterpiece level, as that's something you expect if the book made i..."


Masterpieces, hmm, I'm not looking for masterpieces, just a good read, or a topic I'm interested in, or something that was recommended. Also, one reader's masterpiece may not be another reader's cuppa, and all that!


message 12: by Alex (new)

Alex (asato) M.L. wrote: "Masterpieces, hmm, I'm not looking for masterpieces, just a good read, or a topic I'm interested in, or something that was recommended."

Furthermore, a work just has to be good enuff to exceed your target audience's expectations, which are not always as high as the author's.


Tara Woods Turner | 2063 comments Thus, 50 Shades of Gray.


message 14: by Annie (new)

Annie Arcane (anniearcane) Tara wrote: "Thus, 50 Shades of Gray."

*stares blankly**single tear falls*


Tara Woods Turner | 2063 comments *trues to coax Annie out of the fetal position*


message 16: by Annie (new)

Annie Arcane (anniearcane) *curls into a tighter ball**shudders**sobs silently*


Tara Woods Turner | 2063 comments *looks around desperately for a copy of Flowers From the Storm


message 18: by Annie (new)

Annie Arcane (anniearcane) *mutters incoherent gibberish**peers up at Miss Tara with...hope...?*


Tara Woods Turner | 2063 comments *places book slowly on the floor and backs away...trips over a Cassandra Claire novel someone was using as a doorstop. Asks Annie to scoot over*


message 20: by Annie (new)

Annie Arcane (anniearcane) *nods knowingly**makes room for Miss Tara**shares comfort cookies*


Tara Woods Turner | 2063 comments *sniffles...nibbles cookie, detects Finlandia*
Awww you got these from Nik!


message 22: by Annie (new)

Annie Arcane (anniearcane) *consumes a 1/2 dozen cookies**sways happily*
Mr Nik takes real good care of us! (Now he sounds like a pimp hahaha)


Tara Woods Turner | 2063 comments 'Hello, Gator'
*smoothes Nik's rabbit collar*


message 24: by Annie (new)

Annie Arcane (anniearcane) ROFLMAO!!!! >_<

You. Are. Effin. Awesome.


Tara Woods Turner | 2063 comments *facepalm*
Argh! Do you see what even a little 50 Shades will do to a perfectly good thread?!
*grabs phone book, looks up 24 hour priests*


message 26: by Annie (new)

Annie Arcane (anniearcane) Pfft! We took a mediocre (totally kidding!) thread and brought it into the realm of greatness, Miss Tara!!

*calls in personal exorcist, just in case*


Tara Woods Turner | 2063 comments *consider's Annie's point...*
Objection withdrawn, your honor. Move to strike. Your witness.
*adds Annie to Christmas card list. Decides to actually send Christmas cards*


message 28: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 15696 comments All that while I was asleep? Finlandia is gone, I have a feeling. How exactly Nik evolved from pimp to rabbit? -:)
Having now serious doubts about your drinking aptitude, I'll have to downgrade drinks on the offer. Sprite, Borjomi anyone?


Tara Woods Turner | 2063 comments The collar of your coat is lined with rabbit fur - classic American pimp wear from the 1970s. I don't drink carbonated beverages but if I am denied the Finlandia I guess I will have an iced tea or a Pellegrino with lime.


message 30: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 15696 comments Annie wrote: "a mediocre thread"

Now that's an insult -:)


message 31: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 15696 comments Tara wrote: "if I am denied the Finlandia..."

I'll pour shots instead of pimping bottles -:)


Tara Woods Turner | 2063 comments Nik wrote 'Now that's an insult.'

The cookies made us do it.


message 33: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 15696 comments Magic cookies sold at Koh Samui? -:)


message 34: by Annie (new)

Annie Arcane (anniearcane) Nik wrote: "Annie wrote: "a mediocre thread"

Now that's an insult -:)"


Hey!! *GASP* Don't take out the "totally kidding!" part and make me look like a butthead!! I already look like one *smirks* May I interest you in a peace offering? Magic cookie, perhaps?

@Miss Tara: *whispers* Never trust the cookies...


message 35: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 15696 comments No problem, Annie, all is cool. Tara has sent me privately a few options for a rabbit color jackets, so, if the need arises, I can play a role more authentically -:)


message 36: by Annie (new)

Annie Arcane (anniearcane) If I may be so bold to say, the purple really brings out your eyes... *passes Mr Nik golden pimp cane* ...and now your ensemble is complete, boss. Let's go earn some moolah, shall we? ^_~


message 37: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 15696 comments Thanks for the cane. Gonna get one of those purple rabbits after tasting a magic cookie -:) Moolah, hiding is pointless, we are coming


Tara Woods Turner | 2063 comments Ah! My sweet comrades.


message 39: by Annie (new)

Annie Arcane (anniearcane) And to think I was once hesitant to speak up here. Those days are looong gone, suckas!!!

Group hugs,
Ann


message 40: by Alex (new)

Alex (asato) There is a special hell for those who habitually hijack threads.


message 41: by Annie (last edited Jul 12, 2016 11:09AM) (new)

Annie Arcane (anniearcane) @Mr Alex: It's a pretty cozy place. They offered me cookies. Who am I to refuse?

Although, you totally make a good point! Sorry, Mr Nik!! In response to the OP...

Imho, brick-and-mortar just can't compete with online anymore. At least not on an everyday basis. It's similar to the fashion industry where retailers are "guessing" the popular trends (a.k.a. "best sellers") 9 months in advance. Yeah, good luck, eh? To make matters worse, that's coupled with another factor: the current state of consumers...

Two very important things have become exceedingly scarce in this day and age:

1. Money (inflation is a biznitch)
2. Time (inflation is a biznitch so folks are working more)

Convenience is key. And, sure, readers still dig print books. I'm not arguing that at all! But with the middle class shrinking fast enough to make my head spin, I reckon that most people just wanna save time and money at the end of the day.

Wow. I sound really serious. See, this is why I never have something legit to say LOL

Hugs,
Ann


Tara Woods Turner | 2063 comments Annie-kins
Great points. Do you guys think these factors will cause a resurgence in the small, hipster, independently owned bookstores with an emphasis on second hand books? If so won't the trad pubs be forced to lower their prices and reduce their stables? They already have been forced to take on fewer new authors and offer them smaller advances... I could use one of Alex's factoids right now - he's the numbers guru!


message 43: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 15696 comments Wow, Annie, you are a master of many styles-:)
Among time, money and shrinking middle class, I'm mostly concerned with the latter (after the money). Any anti-shrinking suggestions maybe?


Tara Woods Turner | 2063 comments I don't know about economics but i know that now more than ever readers crave escapism.


message 45: by Alex (new)

Alex (asato) Annie wrote: "@Mr Alex: It's a pretty cozy place. They offered me cookies. Who am I to refuse?..."

I apologize. I was trying to be over-the-top, but My irony wasn't well-expressed. Anyone can do anything they want w/a thread.


Matthew Culberson Not sure about the original question. Having worked at Barnes and Noble many moons ago from 2000-2007, I believe that's really all they have anymore are best sellers. The backlist has gotten smaller and smaller. They stock what sells. If it doesn't sell, it gets returned to the publisher and eventually makes it back, if lucky, as a bargain title.

But walk into a Barnes and Noble today and a lot of the retail space is now taken up by a lot of non-book stuff. And that is just the nature of the beast. People are still buying books; they just have so many other options now to do so that Barnes and Noble would never survive if they had to exist on books alone.


message 47: by Annie (new)

Annie Arcane (anniearcane) @Mr Nik: Nah, I don't believe an anti-shrinking strategy truly exists. Of course, you can always stick a band-aid on the situation (common N. American practice *eye roll*) but it doesn't do much good in the long run, eh?

Ugh. If I keep on talking all serious like this, folks are gonna start getting (even more) irritated with me but you asked, sooo...

DISCLAIMER: This is just my opinion. Which isn't worth much. Don't anyone kill me now.

The middle class is gonna keep on shrinking whether we like it or not. I reckon most people will just sit on their keister and point the finger at someone else. And, yeah, I'm the first to admit it's tempting to play the blame game. I mean, it's a heck of a lot easier than growing balls and taking responsibility, eh? But here's the way I see shizz...

It doesn't really matter who or what is to blame - outsourcing, the gov't, national debt (oil prices if you're where I am hahaha), etc. - the fact of the matter is that we can't directly change those things, so it's a tragic waste of energy to even try, imho.

Hmm. Let's say you have a bucket of water. It has 11 holes. You have 10 fingers with which you're allowed to plug the holes with (OMG, that sounds sooo wrong!!). What do you do?

1. Plug the 10 holes. Freak out a bit cuz the darn thing's still leaking. Shrug. Come to accept it (a.k.a. give up)
2. Turn on the faucet.

Really, that's the only thing we can do. Get creative. Take risks. Figure out ways to generate multiple forms of income. Because *whispers* there is no such thing as security. Gosh, I sound really freakin' ominous! I swear to goodness, I'm not a miserable person!! Stop asking me questions!!! LOL

My 2 cents: You can't beat the system. But you CAN step outside the system. The only caveat? It's ALWAYS gonna be outta your comfort zone too. Trust me on this one *glib smirk*

@Mr Alex: Do NOT apologize! I was just teasing you!! But then...

I realized that you were totally right. I actually hadn't contributed a dang thing to the thread. Oops!

@Mr Matthew: Great point!! Pretty sure the Chapters (Cdn equivalent of B&N) sells more Starbucks coffee than they do books ^_~

Hugs,
Ann


Tara Woods Turner | 2063 comments Matthew
Loving the inside knowledge!


message 49: by Marie Silk (new)

Marie Silk | 1022 comments Did anyone see this article about B&N stocking self-published books? Still in the works, but could be promising. It would be a reason to drop Kindle Select if they only count units sold through Nook for eligibility.

http://www.bookbusinessmag.com/post/i...


message 50: by Alex (new)

Alex (asato) Marie wrote: "Did anyone see this article about B&N stocking self-published books? Still in the works, but could be promising. It would be a reason to drop Kindle Select if they only count units sold through Noo..."

O_o

Good find! Hot off the presses! We need more competition on the self-publishing market. Well, B&N's initiative isn't self-service like Amazon/createspace bit it's a step on the right direction--maybe.


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