I’ve started reading Seth Godin’s blog because, through my business course, I’ve learned enough to realize I don’t yet understand everything about marketing.
I caught this entry, and I don’t mean to come off as a chest-pounding proponent of revolution, but bear with me a moment.
According to above post, Borders discovered that, by displaying books with their covers out (rather than their spines), they increased their sales by 9%.
(of course, 9% in terms of the publishing industry is next to nothing, but that’s beside the point)
The Espresso machine is built to print a book in five minutes, flat. Consider that all that shelf space might instead be devoted to revolving banner advertisements with a limited number of books on hand, all of which can be previewed via the Espresso machines, as well as every other title in existence. Whatever you want, bookstores’ll have it.
And yes, certainly, some people browse books in the store, but I think the majority of perusal applies to magazines. So keep a periodicals section, while you devote all that glorious shelf space to 100 Espresso machines.
Certainly, it’d take a bit to get the venture started, but I have a feeling that’s how most bookstores are going to look in ten years. The fucker is pretty much a book vending machine:
This thing will take up less than five cubic feet, which, as many publishers know, is about the size of the remaindered rack in your average Borders or Barnes & Noble bookstore. What’s going to have to change, unfortunately, is how much publishers make via booksales. Because at this point, publishers are the equivalent of primaries; they’re in place so you know who’s good enough to buy books from, just like the primaries let you know who’s good enough to vote for president.
I’d say, in the future, it’s going to be more difficult to find the quality, but hey, you got to this blog, didn’t you? Just goes to show, somehow, it works out.