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Shocked yet not surprised: Indigo halves its bookshelf space

Here’s the link to Five Rivers publisher Lorina Stephens’ excellent post on how Indigo is changing its returns policy (45 days and you’re out!) and cutting its space for books in half. So much for anybody whose name isn’t Rowling, King, Meyer and whoever the guy is who came up with Go the F**k to Sleep. This stirs up a lot of questions for people whose names are not those names. For instance, how many scented candles does anyone really need to buy in one lifetime? And how will traditional publishing cope?

For me personally, this is not a big deal because I am not in the least surprised. As I’ve been saying, this is not an if. It’s just about when. Blockbuster is battered senseless and HMVs are shrunk to nubs. I am so the opposite of an early adopter of new tech I’m nearly Amish and I don’t go near the Busted Block nor do I buy CDs anymore (though I understand some people still make them, everybody’s just picking the songs they want off iTunes.) I anticipated this boostore shift and consider it to be The Half-Measure of Doom on the Road to Bookstore Apocalypse.

Ahem. Pardon the hyperbole, but I’ve encountered a bunch of resistance from people who are convinced that my sole focus on ebooks was career suicide. No matter what I said, the doubters were sure a book had to be in a bookstore to be “real” and “worthy” and “made of paper and stuff.”

And I said, “What’s a bookstore?” Now I’m doing my “Told you so” dance and though I should be ashamed of myself, to be honest, I’m not feeling it.

But seriously, bookstores are literally farther and fewer between. As they cut down on shelf space to make room for doodads to dust, yo-yos and novelty pens, there will be no shelf for indies. You want choice, variety and a taste of the new? Go look online because you won’t find it in a bricks and mortar chain store.

But enough from me and my reactionary delusions of grandeur. Lorina says it all in detail in her usual reasonable, convincing tone, so do go read what she has to say. 

Filed under: authors, Books, ebooks, Useful writing links, , , , , , , , ,

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