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  1. #61

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    Quote Originally Posted by Holley Calmes View Post
    Doesn't Amazon sell from smaller retailers? They collect everything in one big database, but the smaller retailers ship it and make $$. I've gotten many items from all over the country that I ordered from Amazon-books, toys, etc. So isn't Amazon helping support the smaller bookstores and other shops by helping them sell? Does this make Amazon not the big bad wolf? Or is their but too large? Correct me if I'm mistaken.
    I think Amazon allows smaller retailers to sell on their site but you can also buy items directly from them. I've brought Bollywood movies through Amazon that came from a smaller store but I've also brought DVDs as well as some textbooks that came directly from Amazon. Plus, Amazon still makes money from the smaller sellers because they all have to pay a commission on the items they sell.

    Additionally, I've read that Amazon has been able to force publishers to sell them books for much less than chain bookstores and independents (which is why Amazon can afford to sell them so cheaply). Borders and B&N did get the ball rolling in this regard but getting better discounts than independents (which is why they were able to sell books more cheaply than the independents). The discount that Amazon receives makes it that much harder for both the chain bookstores and independents to compete. I'll try to find the link and then post it.

    Found it!
    http://www.bostonreview.net/BR35.6/roychoudhuri.php
    Last edited by modern_muslimah; 02-13-2011 at 10:22 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by modern_muslimah View Post
    I think Amazon allows smaller retailers to sell on their site but you can also buy items directly from them.
    Yes. If you buy something from another retailer, the retailer's name will be noted on the sale.

    This product comes a retailer called M-Edge.http://www.amazon.com/M-Edge-Kindle-...7635038&sr=1-1

    But if no other retailer is named, then Amazon is the seller, as with this book: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/140...pf_rd_i=283155 Amazon names itself as the seller down in the middle of the information there.

    Purchases from other retailers do not qualify for SuperSaver shipping, so that's another way to know which is which.

    This blog describes something people typically do in bookstores and why it's a problem.

    That's why people have been predicting the death of bookstores for years, long before e-readers were ever introduced to the market.

    Quote Originally Posted by modern_muslimah View Post
    Additionally, I've read that Amazon has been able to force publishers to sell them books for much less than chain bookstores and independents (which is why Amazon can afford to sell them so cheaply). The discount that Amazon receives makes it that much harder for both the chain bookstores and independents to compete. I'll try to find the link and then post it.
    Probably not the same article, but this from Small Beer Press spells it out pretty clearly: http://smallbeerpress.com/not-a-jour...de-surely-not/

    But back to the gorilla: Amazon sold a couple of thousand copies of our paper books last year—and we just don’t care. They’ve negotiated horribly high discounts with publishers and distributors so that we, for example, receive about 34%* of the retail price of a book sold on their site. (So $5.44 on a $16 paperback to pay the printer, freight, author, artist, ads, etc., etc. Yep, that math works out well.)
    "The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."-- Albert Einstein.

  3. #63

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    Quote Originally Posted by modern_muslimah View Post

    Additionally, I've read that Amazon has been able to force publishers to sell them books for much less than chain bookstores and independents (which is why Amazon can afford to sell them so cheaply). Borders and B&N did get the ball rolling in this regard but getting better discounts than independents (which is why they were able to sell books more cheaply than the independents). The discount that Amazon receives makes it that much harder for both the chain bookstores and independents to compete. I'll try to find the link and then post it.
    To be fair, Amazon doesn't "force" publishers to sell them anything. Any publisher is absolutely free to walk away from any deal Amazon proposes, just as any music publisher is free not to deal with Apple/iTunes. If the deal wasn't good for publishers, presumably they'd be smart enough not to enter it it.

    What the article you linked doesn't say is that Amazon provides some real value to publishers:
    1. Stocking backlists generally unavailable at many brick-and-mortar bookstores;
    2. Eliminating shipping hassles for small publishers that might not want to be involved in dealing with retail orders;
    3. Much, much better inventory control -- which ought to mean many, many fewer copies of books pushed back to publishers or sold as remainders (that's a huge cost in the publishing industry) and much better information back to publishers about what's selling, so that a book that is selling unexpectedly well can be reprinted more promptly;
    4. Disconnecting geography from book availability: If a book is selling fabulously on the west coast because it was featured in an LA Times review, copies flow to where the demand is, quickly and easily;
    5. Disconnecting human face-to-face interactions that might discourage book purchases: How many more copies of books on subjects like impotence, recovering from abuse, or any other topic where the purchaser might be worried about who will see the purchase are sold through Amazon, where you never see the person who packages your book, and where it comes to you in a brown paper wrapper.
    6. Better sell-through of related books -- everything from the "people who bought this..." suggestions to emails when a new book comes out by an author you've bought books by before to the Listmania listings that have suggested many a great book to me.
    7. Lower rates of book returns -- whether it is the shipping hassle, or that Amazon has enough information and reviews, I've read that Amazon has a much lower rate of returns on books than do B&N and Borders.

    Efficiencies like these wring a lot of costs out of the system, and Amazon should look to capture some of those.

    Amazon is far from perfect, and clearly publishing is going to need to change and adapt to new channels of distribution. But unlike Costco, which deeply discounts the relative handful of titles it carries, Amazon has many, many good features that should help keep books (printed or electronic) very viable for a long time. And if they fall down, I'm sure Apple will be there to eat their lunch.

    A lot of the concerns from publishers remind me of concerns expressed when we moved from typesetting to computer files for books. We survived. Books survived. Publishers are going to need to come to grips with the challenges and opportunities posed by Amazon. (And they've clearly got a long way to go -- our library foundation gets royalty checks on children's poetry from a prolific author who left us her copyrights -- many of the royalty checks still come in handwritten, and I would swear that some of the royalty statements look like they're still be produced on typewriters!)

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    Quote Originally Posted by barbk View Post
    What the article you linked doesn't say is that Amazon provides some real value to publishers
    But not to bookstores.

    One of Borders' marketing mistakes--but only one--was selling through Amazon: http://www.npr.org/2011/01/06/132713...ble-past-rival

    Norris also says that Borders made a crucial error even before the onset of e-books.

    Borders, the financially struggling bookstore chain, was ill-prepared to make the investments needed to meet the challenges of the digital age.

    "For a lot of years, Borders actually relied on Amazon to handle their e-commerce function," he said. "So if you were to buy a book from Borders, you would actually be buying it on Amazon, and Amazon would pay Borders a commission.

    "So Borders didn't have experience developing its own infrastructure; so compared to Barnes & Noble, Borders really got off to a late start, making the online business and the offline superstore business work as one."


    Meanwhile, it appears that a lot of B&N Nook users are like me--they buy in the store, too: "People buy the Nook at retail and then they go and buy digital books, but because they're in the retail location, they might pick something else up while they're there," he says. "So the good residual feeling that Barnes & Noble has after [the fourth quarter of] last year, it's all because of the foot traffic that the Nook drove. That's their salvation right now."
    "The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."-- Albert Einstein.

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    Quote Originally Posted by modern_muslimah View Post
    Thank you for this! I especially love this paragraph:
    Amazon is great, and I love the discounts, convenience and unlimited stock as much as anyone. But Amazon doesn’t introduce me to new books the way a visit to a bookstore does. I need a way of discovering books I don’t know to look for.
    This is the tangible that online entities just can't do as well as an actual store. B&N has the "Discover Great New Writers" bay, which is updated every 2 months and all the titles listed (usually about 20 or so) are sold at a 20% discount to encourage you to learn more. There's also the "Our Staff Recommends" display--always my favorite part. Who better to share the love of books than people who work in a bookstore? Then there's the kid's area--bright, fun, interactive and a stage for storytime weekly. Local interest tables as well as "New Arrivals", "In the Media", "At the Movies" and displays of current trends/holidays/happenings in every section complete the picture. I'm sure Amazon has something similar to all that (except storytime), but it just doesn't stimulate in the same way. No matter how hard they try, you just can't fit an entire aisle of books on a computer screen.

    I'm sure the day will come when we no longer have tree-books and the e-book generation has taken over. I just hope it's not in my lifetime.

  6. #66
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    The talk of Barnes & Noble's woes is especially terrible news since my local Borders is closing at the end of the month, my local Waldenbooks closed about a year ago and B&N is the only other option.

    The problems with the bookstores seem to mirror the problems with record stores in that both industries found themselves completely blindsided by new technology and by the time they jumped on the bandwagon it was already too late.

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    Quote Originally Posted by martian_girl View Post
    The talk of Barnes & Noble's woes is especially terrible news since my local Borders is closing at the end of the month, my local Waldenbooks closed about a year ago and B&N is the only other option.
    B&N is actually doing pretty well for the moment, but a lot is riding on the continued success of the Nook and e-book sales. That's what keeping the stores going.
    "The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."-- Albert Einstein.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Holley Calmes View Post
    This is sad. Kindles and Nooks are fine for whoever wants to hold a cold piece of plastic in their hands, but I do not want one. I love printing. I love color, the texture of papers, the feel of them, and beautiful dust covers. I love a stack of books on my table. I love going to a bookstore and looking at all the colors and being excited visually by the fronts of new books-how they try to entice me! Sure, you can see a teeny little cover or an ad on your computer, but it isn't the same thing. I love the other products there too, the diaries and calendars and coffee, dvds, music..... Going to a bookstore is a sensory experience that a little hand held piece of plastic just can't duplicate.

    I am not a luddite. I live on my computer and though not a technie gadget freak, I am open to most anything. But closing book stores and having nothing but a drab bit of plastic as a resource for my reading? That's like dragging me to some kind of sensory Siberia.
    This, so much this. I wish I had the money to support B&N like I really want to, but I'm forced to go to the library for now.

    However, I lurve the Barnes & Noble classics series paperback books. They're such a nice format - 5x7, with nice paper and good type layout, and inexpensive. I have 19 of them and I'm hoping to get many more. Since they're all out of copyright, I figure the profit margin is higher for those books

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    Quote Originally Posted by vesperholly View Post
    This, so much this. I wish I had the money to support B&N like I really want to, but I'm forced to go to the library for now.

    However, I lurve the Barnes & Noble classics series paperback books. They're such a nice format - 5x7, with nice paper and good type layout, and inexpensive. I have 19 of them and I'm hoping to get many more. Since they're all out of copyright, I figure the profit margin is higher for those books
    The hardbacks are great too and not much more expensive than the paperbacks. If I buy classics from B&N, I usually buy from their publisher.
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    If the local Borders closes, there won't be a bookstore within a 100 miles of me. It's small and I wouldn't be at all surprised if it made the list.
    Those who never succeed themselves are always the first to tell you how.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vash01 View Post
    I love relaxing at B&N (even more than at Borders) with a coffee or hot chocolate and a stack of magazines and books. I hope that won't be taken away from me and others like me.
    See, I'd feel bad if I did this. B&N isn't a library, they're a retailer. I'd never just sit and read a magazine and not pay for it. I might look through a chapter of a book, but never just sit and read something that's not mine for an extended period of time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stormy View Post
    See, I'd feel bad if I did this. B&N isn't a library, they're a retailer. I'd never just sit and read a magazine and not pay for it. I might look through a chapter of a book, but never just sit and read something that's not mine for an extended period of time.
    I'm sort of guilty of this -- I read children's picture books from stem to stern to decide which one to buy. Sometimes gorgeous books just don't have great words, or vice-versa, or they bore me, or.... If I'm going to spend $20 to buy a a hardcover picture book, I want it to be one that is worth reading, and re-reading. (I don't do it with a drink in hand, and I'm very careful not to mess up the pages or the dust jacket.)

    I also tend to read a chapter or two out of non-fiction, just to make sure it hits the information I'm looking for, in a manner that I can understand.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rfisher View Post
    If the local Borders closes, there won't be a bookstore within a 100 miles of me. It's small and I wouldn't be at all surprised if it made the list.
    Just thinking, since that is the only bookstore within 100 miles shouldn't it be doing pretty good business?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChelleC View Post
    Just thinking, since that is the only bookstore within 100 miles shouldn't it be doing pretty good business?
    Pretty sure most people would buy online before they drove even half that distance to buy a book.

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    Was at the local Borders on Saturday, using up some gift cards that may be worthless if Borders files. Anyway, it's clear that they're in trouble with at least some of their suppliers. Their normally fully stocked gift department was down to a couple of racks, and the Ghiardelli chocolates were on sale, of all things. Very few CDs or DVDs. I'm really not surprised as this particular location doesn't have much going for it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stormy View Post
    See, I'd feel bad if I did this. B&N isn't a library, they're a retailer. I'd never just sit and read a magazine and not pay for it. I might look through a chapter of a book, but never just sit and read something that's not mine for an extended period of time.
    ITA. It didn't bother me to see people sitting and eating and reading until the day I bought a book and took it home and food crumbs fell out of it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChelleC View Post
    Just thinking, since that is the only bookstore within 100 miles shouldn't it be doing pretty good business?
    One would hope. I guess there are some independent stores in Charleston and there's always Wal-mart and Target. There aren't any Borders or B/N within a 100 miles and there won't be any independent stores in the area if Borders/Waldenbooks close here. It's still a small market and may depend on how many stores they feel the need to cut. A lot of other businesses that have been in financial trouble terminated their local stores because of lower relative market shares.
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    Quote Originally Posted by barbk View Post
    I'm sort of guilty of this -- I read children's picture books from stem to stern to decide which one to buy. Sometimes gorgeous books just don't have great words, or vice-versa, or they bore me, or.... If I'm going to spend $20 to buy a a hardcover picture book, I want it to be one that is worth reading, and re-reading. (I don't do it with a drink in hand, and I'm very careful not to mess up the pages or the dust jacket.)

    I also tend to read a chapter or two out of non-fiction, just to make sure it hits the information I'm looking for, in a manner that I can understand.
    I also skim through a couple of chapters of a book just to see if I really want to buy it. I don't see anything wrong with that. Often when I just buy a book without looking through I usually end up regretting it and the book becomes a TBR book.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aceon6 View Post
    Was at the local Borders on Saturday, using up some gift cards that may be worthless if Borders files. Anyway, it's clear that they're in trouble with at least some of their suppliers. Their normally fully stocked gift department was down to a couple of racks, and the Ghiardelli chocolates were on sale, of all things. Very few CDs or DVDs. I'm really not surprised as this particular location doesn't have much going for it.
    It was the same at our local Borders on Friday. My husband was annoyed because he wanted to buy a book but all the books he skimmed through didn't interest him and the rest of the book selection was sparse. There were a lot of clearance items as well, much more than usual.

    Quote Originally Posted by jamesy View Post
    ITA. It didn't bother me to see people sitting and eating and reading until the day I bought a book and took it home and food crumbs fell out of it.
    Eww!
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    if they stay in business, you should have to pay for the magazines and newspapers before you steal them, I mean read them and put them back
    I feel like I'm in a dream. But it can't be a dream because there are no boy dancers!

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    Quote Originally Posted by barbk View Post
    I'm sort of guilty of this -- I read children's picture books from stem to stern to decide which one to buy. Sometimes gorgeous books just don't have great words, or vice-versa, or they bore me, or.... If I'm going to spend $20 to buy a a hardcover picture book, I want it to be one that is worth reading, and re-reading. (I don't do it with a drink in hand, and I'm very careful not to mess up the pages or the dust jacket.)

    I also tend to read a chapter or two out of non-fiction, just to make sure it hits the information I'm looking for, in a manner that I can understand.
    I do this too with certain kinds of books. If it's fiction, I tend to try to borrow from a friend or the library, and if I love it, I'll buy a copy for myself. My biggest book-buying areas are cookbooks, Photoshop tutorial books, and web design books. When it comes to those three areas, I like to have gone through the book ahead of time to make sure that it has recipes/tutorials/tips/hints/etc. that I'll actually use. There have been plenty of books in these categories that I would have been unhappy with if I'd ordered online, and likewise, I've found some gems that I wouldn't have thought about if I hadn't flipped through them in the store.

    These days, I'm stuck in the middle-of-nowhere with no bookstores around. I'm actually doing very little book buying of any sort because of it, and what I do get, I have to get from amazon...

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