Book stores appear to be going the way of many other brick and mortar retailers and are gradually closing their doors. Competition with digital media and online retailers has taken away much of the foot traffic book stores rely upon. Remember Borders? Formally the second largest bookstore chain in the U.S. closed all its locations by 2011. Statistics show that nationwide the number of book stores fell approximately 30% along with corresponding numbers of employees.
Much the way Walmart impacted mom and pop stores in local communities, Amazon’s book sales success has been the single greatest factor in helping to close doors. Amazon’s low prices and distribution genius has led to more book sales overall, while also providing increased opportunities for independent authors. However, and while independent authors are appreciative of the opportunity, Amazon’s model presents a two-edged sword.
The reading public has long been fickle about following the works of noted authors, who will do well in any environment. But the proliferation in the number of new releases every year, mostly from independent authors, makes it more difficult for not-so-well-known authors to garner a large following. Nonetheless, those authors that persevere can still reap the benefits of success which may not always be defined by money.
As for your local bookstore, it won’t be too many more years before it will be nothing more than a display setup within a museum.