Bill's Blog

Book Publishing News

Dec 13, 2010

If your goal is to write books and have them published, then it behooves you to stay in touch with what’s happening in the book publishing business. And there’s a lot going on right now, largely because of the trend toward e-books and the surging numbers of self-published titles.

Bookstore Chains Merging
It has been reported that the two largest bookstore chains in the U.S., Barnes & Noble and Borders, may merge in an effort to cut costs. Wall Street seems to like the idea, but what will it mean for book buyers and the book publishing industry? Simba Information senior analyst Michael Norris thinks it’s a “wretched idea,” and he makes some good points. In this interview, Norris explains why such mergers are a bad idea.

E-book Ads
I ran into my first gas-pump commercial several years ago. I swung into a combination gas station/convenience store in Phoenix, stuck my credit card in the slot, and started pumping. Then the gas pump gave me a sales pitch about all the goodies I would find inside the little store. They even had a special on twelve-can cartons of Coke. I was more than a little annoyed that I couldn’t even pump gas in peace anymore. That night, as I settled into an easy chair at home with the latest Michael Crichton novel, I was still peeved about the gas-pump commercial, and I thought, At least they’ll never be able to put commercials in books.

But it seems that nothing is sacred when it comes to commercials. Advertising in e-books is just around the corner, and with the evolution of e-book readers into multimedia devices (or the evolution of multimedia devices into e-book readers), I have no doubt that full-blown commercials are sure to follow. Delightful idea, right? I can imagine how this would work. A character in a Stephen King novel is buried alive by a psychopathic killer – and up pops a commercial for an anti-anxiety medication.

Okay, I’ll stop ranting. Publishers say ads will be necessary to save the book publishing industry. Hype or reality? Check it out what MarketingVOX has to say about the industry and its demographics.

Holiday Cheer
With all the difficult issues facing booksellers and publishers, it’s nice to come across a story that can make you smile. Here’s one about a third-grader who wanted a bookstore in his town, and made it happen: The Small-Town Books-A-Million Miracle

Questions about this topic? Call me at (505) 401-1021 or send me an email at I’m in my office most weekdays from 9 to 5.

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