We'll know by July 21 whether or not Borders will stay in business or be liquidated. If Borders disappears, will Barnes & Noble soon be next? And then what happens to the print publishing industry and authors with no major retailers to sell their books? Thoughts? Reactions?

Here's a link to the Bloomberg article:



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Financier John Malone's Liberty Media made a $1 billion offer to buy B&N last May, and, according to an AP story this morning, liquidating Borders would increase the value of B&N. Supposedly, Malone has no plans to liquidate B&N if Liberty Media acquires the retailer.

We tend to look at this from the wrong perspective sometimes. So log as people want to buy physical books, someone will be around to sell them; they just have to find a sustainable business model. Proof of the failure of the current publishing model is seen by the fact that both neither end seems to be able to make money (publishers nor booksellers), yet books sales overall remain relatively stable. The public wants books; it's up to the supply chain to figure out how to do it right.

Now, if decide they don't want physical books anymore, then the suppliers will be in the wind. Not before.

I agree, Dana, that a sustainable business model needs to be found. As many of us have discussed and debated in this forum, Amazon and e-readers have revolutionized the publishing industry. Hopefully, a new and better print publishing model––one that actually rewards a majority of authors (rather than a select few) for their time and hard work––will emerge.
How is that (rewarding more than just a few select authors) going to to help them make money?  People want the best sellers.
Well, Amazon has found a way of rewarding authors by giving them a larger percentage of sales. The idea that ANY author should collect 10-15% in royalties while publishers, retailers, and agents take all the rest is, I believe, a major reason why many authors are looking at less traditional ways of publishing. The publishing industry is in deep trouble now, so, to paraphrase Einstein, does it make sense to keep doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results? I don't know if there is a better or more efficient way for them to make money, I.J. but clearly something has to change, or B&N will go the way of Borders, and then where will publishers be? There are not enough independent bookstores to sustain the industry.
Well, justice demands it, but print publishers will not pay 50 % on electronic rights. Sure, there may be a few authors who can negotiate that sort of contract, but for the average midlist author it doesn't seem to rise above 25 %.  And I, for one, am balking.


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