I sure all have heard about Amazon opened a physical store for it’s authors’ paper back books. I am not sure how the system works but I read somewhere that books ranking at 4 and 5 stars will be featured in their book stores. I also read the bookstores were opened in respond to the fact that established book stores refuse to accept or host nearly all Indie and small publishers books.
But there would have been no need to build this store had the established physical book stores been more lenient in giving Indies and small press a chance. But it’s like they fought back against them with hands, tooth, and nails. Most were not welcoming to them as Barnes and Noble welcomed Indies and small press companies can set up an author’s day for their client.
Most, if a small press or Indie want them to carry their books not only do they have to supply the book and share the profit but also have to rent the shelf space. There is a double standard against small press and Indie authors. Big companies were not renting a space.
I am not saying Amazon should or shouldn’t have built the book stores. I’m leaving that each individual’s opinion but common sense ought to have told them that no one is going to keep begging you to do something for them before they give up and resolve to find a way to do it themselves.
Now, this is what I would have done had I owned a local book store. Years ago when I saw them at the starting line and the potential to grow into what they became. I would have form a committee of local bookstore around the country and presented it to Amazon saying:
Psst! Zon, c’mere. Hey man, I tell ya what? If you’ll post us as an association to your site with trillions of clicks in traffic a year; that we are store who are actual carrying one of your books. That So and So is one of the locals carrying such and such book you published or is hosting. We will accept your four and five star books and few three and two stars if we feel these were jealous rating dragging the book down that is appropriate for our local reading audience. Maybe one or two at first to see how they fare. But we will definitely do this if you create a directory for us, we will sell your books for a share of the profit. What do you say?”
Me and my Corleones would have kept Amazon so busy printing and shipping out books they wouldn’t have had time to built a mega store down the streets to compete with me. With the thousands of local store in my Corleone network, every week, there would have a new author introduced to the public. Local football games, community cook outs, high school graduations, local alligator wrestling contest, local yodeling club. Name it! I would have found something on that site to order for my store for every occasion. And let these people know they had to have it to promote their event.
And encouraged more and more locally owned stores to follow suit. Therefore someone locally will see the book they saw online in my showcase and say, “Hey, I can get it down town. I don’t have to order it from Amazon.” Although, that’s how the order was filled; through Amazon but they didn’t need to know all that.
Authors are churning truck loads of new materiel everyday. There’s no way I wouldn’t have found a way to bring some of that new inventory into my store. A bookstore is like any other place of business you got to offer new and interesting reads. The same author over and over grows stale to your customers.
There may be something like this clandestinely going on. I don’t know. But I don’t think so, or Amazon wouldn’t have built an outlet for their books had they already had one.
Ugg, Dooney and Bourke, Vera Bradley and several designers did this exact same thing and rode to international fame.
Uggs used to be sold in Western Union stores. Camping equipment shops and many other places that wasn’t traditional a shoe store. And some of the places were not even a shoe store but that’s alright. Ugg made a deal with them to sell their shoes and now they are one of the recognized shoes in the world.
This is what I meant when I talked about letting your personal taste and prejudice get in the way of doing business.
And oh yeah! I would have ran the Grammar Nazi the heck out of my store messing up my good thing when they couldn’t string ten sentences together and create a book. High end designer stores do it all the time. If you go in another high end designer store loudly raving about how much better a Vuitton is, they will ask you to get the heck out of their store and go to Vuitton if you can afford it. The reason I say this is because listening to them wasn’t going to stop a company as powerful as Amazon.