The cake is a lie! The cake is a lie! Oh, what a sobering truth that disheartens Indy authors like me and my ePublisher. It means we have to work even harder to break into that little bubble the Big 6 hold close to their chests.
What else does this mean? Basically the NYT is trying to create success for the authors they want to do well. Yes, they have to make room for those they didn’t foresee, so there’s some degree of accuracy. However, the bias spreads further when it comes to sales from certain stores. See what I mean in this article by Seth Godin. The publishing industry is beginning to feel as corrupt as America’s politicians.
So what are us little Indy people supposed to do? Keep at it, of course. Keep digging for the truth, too. Keep findings ways to muscle onto physical and digital bookshelves. There’s no way we’re giving up because the big guys don’t want to make room for the little guys. But damn, now I wish amazon.com (preferably B&N) would throw Indy people a bone. It would be in both our interest to help each other out. Yes, they could help only so many authors at a time, but still, KDP can do only so much. The literary industry is constantly evolving, especially as amazon.com steadily brings down B&N. Hopefully both parties will do something to avoid B&N going the way of the Borders chain. I actually have an idea to help avoid that, having worked at a B&N in the past.
CAFÉ: Set the café in the heart of the store. Make the place become a sanctuary for all readers and writers, including dividing the store into halves: screaming child zone, and no screaming child zone. Trust me, I tried writing in the store so I could get out of the house more but I couldn’t handle the auditory intrusions of the childish nature. No offense intended. I know I’m not the only one who’d appreciate the peace and quiet. The café being in the middle is a no-brainer. Who wouldn’t want to enjoy a nice drink or snack while working, reading, or writing?
PRINT ON DEMAND: Have print-on-demand machines in each store. PoD needs to be way more efficient and cost-effective. I have my paperback PoD but good lord, I have to set the price at 14 bucks, instead of the preferred 8, just to make a whopping $1 per book. Anyway, books could be available with multiple attention-grabbing covers to choose from, and other neat little things, like extras by the author. Price everything accordingly. Think of the possibilities! Then, after all the content and aesthetics are in place, go to the café and grab a snack while waiting for the binding’s glue to dry, and voila! A printed book customized just for you.
SECTIONS: Divide the store into three sections: New Authors, Rising Authors, and Veterans. All the bookshelves are just giant screens that are interactive with eReader devices so you can download quick samples and whatnot. You may be asking why on earth people with eReaders would feel the need to walk into a bookstore to buy an eBook? Easily. Get creative! Make eBooks like video games where you get little bonuses for coming into the store and such. We need to break away from the mold of simply presenting a book to readers and hope they buy it. There’s so much more to be done!