I've heard this now a few times, but does that make it true? Borders pisses me off about six different ways, but this can't be good for the industry as a whole--or can it? What are the implications if Borders goes away?
The good...if B&N and Borders collapse, a number of small independant stores will pop up to fill the void. The distributors will need to do more work to establish orders, but in the long run the number and type of books ordered will cater to the public demand instead of the spreadsheet.
The bad...if the two big sellers go away, the distribution system and publishing house (big ones) will feel the impact and possibly face financial crisis as well.
The ugly ... it could lead to the collapse of the entire industry. The internet would take over with e-books which due to competition would droip drastically in price. The net result ... authors would receive a pitance for their efforts, making writing as a profession not a viable option.
So...what will the future be? Who knows. (Borders has closed a huge percentage of their stores in an effort to stay solvent. We'll have to wait and see.)
Why would author's fees drop to a pittance if e-books take over? Given the greatly reduced production and distribution costs, the percentage of proceeds available to the author should go up. Reduced prices should also promote increased sales, which should also be good for the author.
I'm not advocating this--I'm a printed book guy through and through--but I think sometimes we're too quick to view the dark side of any change to publishing. The current model is obviously a mess; why assume something new would be worse?
E-books will be distributed through a multitude on Online Retailers. The pressure for reduced prices to compete with the pirated copys (that will appear on every peer-to-peer list) will cause e-books to follow the same route the music industry products have travelled. If your not aware, the music industry is providing a free download site for 25 million songs. They went from full price e-music to 99 cent music to free music in under 10 years. If e-books continue to grow, the same problems and the same result will be inevitable. E-books for free, no revenue for authors.
Exactly--I still don't understand the publishing industry's apparently suicidal impulse to follow the recording biz into oblivion. At least musicians can cobble together a living from performance revenue, maybe--if I give my books away for free, I got nothin'.
I don't like Borders (especially not after the shenanigans of orders being returned immediately). I also don't like B&N. Never got any support from them. I do like specialist independent bookstores, but we don't have any here. I like Amazon, and that's where I buy all my books. People can browse in libraries. And I think Authors Guild had better see about getting U.S. libraries to pay a token fee the same way as in Canada and the U.K.
I like Amazon better than bookstores. Although I would change back if my hometown had a Kinokuniya bookstore like the one in Shinjuku I went to last week. 7 floors of books. Or really, I would like any bookstore that had the service and staff expertise of the the bookstores I've been to in Japan and Taiwan. American customer service is utter shit in comparison. It's just nice to deal with employees that actually know their jobs.
Japan was good. The weather was kind of all over the place. Snow one day, rain the next, then sunny. I'm in Taiwan right now visiting family. It's much warmer here. Books are cheaper in Taiwan as well.
MIL=mother in law, yeah. Does Taiwan have its own local cuisine? Is it like any of the mainland regional cuisines? I love Chinese cooking, but for my money the two best cuisines in the region are Singaporean (great fusion of Chinese, Malaysian and Indian--talk about some fiery curries!) and Vietnamese. My ex-wife is Singaporean Chinese, and an excellent cook.