Border’s Potential Failure May be Good for Publishers, Authors
Programming Note: Exercise Wednesday has been pre-empted this week, so we can bring you this timely post about the future of Borders.
According to this Yahoo! News story, Borders could file bankruptcy before the end of this month, resulting in the closure of at least 150 stores. Redeem those gift cards now!
Other than the New York Yankees, I would never wish for a business to fail. Failed businesses mean out-of-work people. And out of work is a tough thing to be, especially when the economy’s not so good.
Unfortunately, the publishing world has seen its share of business failures in the past few years. And the biggest domino, Borders book stores, may be one of the next to fall. When I first saw Borders, in the early 1990s in Tyson’s Corner, Virginia, I fell in love. Before the children came, my wife and I would spend hours at Borders.
After a lifetime of the limitations of Waldenbooks and B. Dalton, the world offered by Borders was heaven. And that’s before you considered the fact that they sold IBC root beer.
Unfortunately, the early successes of Borders business weren’t sustainable, and now Borders is among everyone’s best bets to fail. One blogger is glad, and seems like she wouldn’t mind if a few others followed. Why?
She dislikes the business model used by bookstores, who get a discounted product, then get to return the product for a full refund if it doesn’t sell. And if you include the practice of stripping (ripping the front cover off a paperback), it hurts both the publisher and the author.
She compares this practice to buying a house, trashing it, then demanding your money back because you can’t get resale value.
Although I’ve never published and sold a book, her description jibes with what I’ve read and been told.
How about you?
And as a reader, what changes would you like to see to make the publishing business more durable and equitable? How about as an author?