Young Adult Fiction for Adults discussion

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Traditional book-sellers falling victim to new technologies

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message 1: by Ann (new)

Ann Massey (flyingfinish) | 29 comments Borders/Angus&Robertson: the first to fall victim to the internet

This week we heard the news that Angus & Robertson have gone into receivership, a victim to new technology. My gut feeling is that what's happened to Borders/A&R is only the tip of the iceberg.Prediction: the impact of the internet on traditional publishers and book-sellers will be of similar magnitude to Caxton's press which wiped out the illuminated book industry.

In a pincer manoeuvre,book-sellers are being attacked on two fronts by e-books and on-line shopping. Since my daughter, late thirties bought a Kindle, she has given up buying books. At a third of the cost of a paperback, she is reading more than ever. But it's not just Generation X & Y that are eschewing book stores.

Yesterday, during our lunch break, I helped a female teacher, (well past retirement age), to down load 'Loeb's Life of the Caesars Vol 2'." Now, as you can tell from the title, it's not the sort of book that you're likely to find in your local book store, so my friend was delighted to learn that she would receive the book in just 7 days. What a huge saving in time and frustration. But on top of that, by using Book Depository, she paid just $25.95 as opposed to $45.00 and there was no freight charge. I won't be surprised if she buys all her text books online from now on.

More and more book sellers and book stores will go the way of Borders/A&R - it's regrettable but that's the price we pay for progress. The printing press put a handful of monks out of business and an army of printers were made redundant when offset printing replaced lino-type so, inevitably there will be causalities as on-line shopping and e-books becomes the norm. But life is always moving forward, always changing. Trying to stem online shopping and e-books is as useless as trying to halt a volcano with a stop sign.
http://annmasseyauthor.net/
http://thebiocideconspiracy.com


message 2: by Tintin (new)

Tintin (marimorimo) | 40 comments As much as I love paper books, this really is the way to go. My books gather dust and take up too much space. I can't bring my favorite books with me when I move to another country later this year-- it's expensive and impractical. I expect to get a Kindle sooner or later.

Nothing, however, can replace the tactile feel and smell of a bound book in your hands. And the thrill of finding that perfect volume at the second-hand bookshop.


Stormi (BMReviewsohmy) (bmreviewsohmy) Yeah, our Barnes and Noble store closed down a few months back, it sucks because it was the closes one and its was still 30mins away. Because of this I do most of my shopping online at the Barnes and noble website.


message 4: by The FountainPenDiva, Old school geek chick and lover of teddy bears (last edited Feb 20, 2011 02:30PM) (new)

The FountainPenDiva, Old school geek chick and lover of teddy bears (thefountainpendiva) Granted, the e-book world has made it much easier for diverse voices to be heard. Without e-books, genres like interracial romance and erotic romances would bre far harder to find because the New York industry isn't exactly made up of people who understanding changing demographics. These people still commit epic fail when it comes to diversity.

But as someone who still enjoys her physical books as well as e-books, I'm disturbed at this trend for much bigger reasons than just the way of technology. You all must be aware of the digital divide that exists in the world, as you must be aware of the attacks of censorship and budget cuts to our public libraries. Thomas Jefferson once said the way to maintain a responsive government was through an educated populace. The closing of brick and mortar bookstores, the demise of independent sellers and publishers, along with the cuts to education--this is pretty scary stuff.

Besides, I love my local Borders, just as I love the old mom & pop booksellers. There's room for all in the emerging culture--more people just need to figure out how to make them all work. Not to mention, with the aging of our population, most older readers still seem to overwhelmingly prefer the actual book, and as someone in the industry, I haven't noticed any trend of teens reading books on whatever device du jour they might have in their arsenal of electronics. So don't sell paper books out just yet.


message 5: by Michelle (new)

Michelle (michellezink) | 168 comments Vixenne wrote: "Granted, the e-book world has made it much easier for diverse voices to be heard. Without e-books, genres like interracial romance and erotic romances would bre far harder to find because the New Y..."

I agree with everything you've said. I do think there is a place for digital books - just not as a total replacement to paper books. My eighteen-year-old son had a great idea the other day. His suggestion was that if someone buys a hard copy, they should automatically get to download the ecopy (without an additional charge).

This makes sense to me because there ARE some books that I want on my shelf, but I don't know what they are until I purchase and read. If I buy the ecopy first and then like it enough to buy the hard copy, I feel cheated because I've bought the book twice. It also gives people an incentive to buy the hard copy. They can buy the digital copy alone, but for a few dollars more they could have both.

It doesn't cost the publishers anything extra to provide a download code for a book that's already been formatted for digital sale, so it's a win-win.
<3

MZ


Heidi (Yup. Still here.) Great idea Michelle (and her son)! Amazon on Demand is doing that with movies now,(you buy the DVD and get to watch it on instant streaming), so why can't they do it with books?


message 7: by Michelle (new)

Michelle (michellezink) | 168 comments Heidi I wrote: "Great idea Michelle (and her son)! Amazon on Demand is doing that with movies now,(you buy the DVD and get to watch it on instant streaming), so why can't they do it with books?"

That was my son's logic. He said more often than not now, when you buy a movie you get a digital copy along with the CD, so you really feel like you're getting your money's worth by buying the physical DVD.

As an author, it makes perfect sense to me. I actually make more money on digital copies (as is true of most authors, it's just the way the royalty percentages work out), but I would hate to see the demise of physical books. At the same time, I totally understand the allure of digital copies. This seems like a way for everyone to win, brick and mortar bookstores included, since people would still have an incentive to buy real books.
<3


message 8: by Becca (new)

Becca | 1608 comments I think it's brilliant. It's kind of like insurance too. If your home ever caught fire, at least you would still have your digital library kind of thing.


message 9: by Paula (new)

Paula Williams (daystealer) | 43 comments Vixenne wrote: "Granted, the e-book world has made it much easier for diverse voices to be heard. Without e-books, genres like interracial romance and erotic romances would bre far harder to find because the New Y..."

I won't buy hardback unless I've already been sold on a novel through testimony of others or my own experience. For example, I bought Behemoth only after I'd read Leviathan library book. Now I'm buying a used copy of Leviathan just for the fantastic book cover. I know in the future I'll want the total set to keep forever to pass down to my grandkids one day. I totally enjoyed reading Behemoth in hard back because of the tactile and visual experience of the cover and drawings by Keith Anderson. Although I love my e-reader, I tend to buy books on it I'm not sure of or I can't get cheaper with my fantastic Borders coupons.
When I heard our local private school planning to use all IPads next year to download textbooks and novels, I could see the future before -- but I don't know how long it will be before the greater public will do away with paper altogether -- hope it isn't before the end of my lifetime.


message 10: by Ann (last edited Feb 21, 2011 03:52PM) (new)

Ann Massey (flyingfinish) | 29 comments Must say that I think downloading school texts is a sensible innovation - books don't survive long in a school environment.


message 11: by Michelle (new)

Michelle (michellezink) | 168 comments Ann Massey wrote: "Must say that I think downloading school texts is a sensible innovation - books don't survive long in a school environment."

I agree, Ann! In the long run, it would be cheaper for schools to issue Kindles (at wholesale, of course) to their students and download textbooks. Easier on the backs, too!
<3

MZ


message 12: by Becca (new)

Becca | 1608 comments It would save so many back problems not having to hall around text books all day every day. That would be phenomenal. If my husband didn't have just two more semesters, neither of which he has classes with texts, I'd get him an ipad right now, just for that.


message 13: by Ann (new)

Ann Massey (flyingfinish) | 29 comments My new teen book, The Biocide Conspiracy' has just been released on Amazon as a paperback and I'm waiting for it to be converted to a Kindle format, with the hope that the school at which I teach, will download it as a school text. Click on this link if you'd like to read a preview: https://www.createspace.com/Preview/1...
or, if it doesn't open, as is often the case, copy and paste in your browser.
Cheers,
Ann


message 14: by Jessie (new)

Jessie (jessiebz) | 10 comments I have mix feelings about Kindles, Nooks, and other ebooks. I'm all for going "green", the convenience of carrying one lightweight device instead of countless heavy books, and most importantly the wallet-friendly prices of ebooks. I'm a broke college student that needs to save money in any shape or form.

However, it's not the same. The feeling I get when walking into a bookstore and take a wiff of fresh paper and cardboard is not the same when I log into some site. The flutter in my stomach when holding fresh, crisp, hardly opened books. Call me a narcissist, but I can't help but smile sometimes when I pass my book shelf and see my books neatly displayed by genre.

Call it silly, but words on a screen are flat and dry. Words on actual paper seem more alive.

Books are facing the fate cds endured when the ipod first came out 6 years ago [roughly speaking]. It's inevitable.

For now, I rather have ebooks for school and hard copies for my free reads.


Heidi (Yup. Still here.) I still love paper books too Jessie. I am a flipper. I love to flip the pages to see how much I have left in each chapter.


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