The June 8, 2009 Publishers Weekly, the bible of the book industry, featured an article in its Soapbox column by an anonymous independent bookseller. This Mr. or Ms. Anonymous took authors to task in the snarkiest way for their supposed sins against this particular bookseller. Like: "do not call or stop by more than once a week to inquire about your book" and "do not ask us to recommend your book to book groups", etc., etc.
I have some info for this dissing bookseller. The book industry is in trouble, But it will not die. It will simply increase its sales ONLINE, causing more and more bookstores to close. Fact: Barnes and Noble, the predominant book retailer, recently reported that the most important reason its net sales were down for the first quarter of this year was "...a significant decline in traffic to retail locations." With the purchase of Kindle, an e-book, a reader can download almost any book available for $9.99 from Amazon, the online book retailer, which sells Kindle. That's at least $15 less than the retail price of a cloth book, as well as about $5.00 less than Amazon's regular discounted price for cloth books.
And yet the person who wrote the PW piece is egregiously giving authors hell for their mistreatment of this earthbound bookseller. My opinion: Do not whine publicly, Mr. or Ms. Anonymous. Instead, do EVERYTHING you can to sell books, even if that means occasionally putting up with overly aggressive authors (or publishers). Otherwise, you'll soon be selling ties...
Are you reading me, Indie publishers, authors, booksellers? Or anyone else who is interested in books and thinks about the future? Comment at firstname.lastname@example.org. I want to know what you think.