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Barnes and Noble Closes Lincoln Square Store

Submitted by on August 30, 2010 – 4:19 pmNo Comment

 

In follow up to last week’s discussion of digital publishing, many have been comparing Blockbuster to book retailer Barnes and Noble with not being prepared for the digital wave of publishing.  Since reading that blog from Galley Cat this week, I caught yet another blog mention from the NY Times today announcing the close of Barnes and Noble’s well-known Lincoln Center store in NYC.  

We asked one of the top publishers in the industry what this means to them. Their reply:

“Everyone in publishing is closely watching Barnes and Noble, but the closing of the Lincoln Square store doesn’t strike me as a sign of impending B&N doom. Manhattan rents and low-margin business just don’t mix, and there are plenty of additional B&N locations to serve New Yorkers. In time, however, I do think we will see more B&N store closures due to decreasing demand for print books and increasing sales through internet retailers. That means authors must work even harder to identify very specific audience types and build a direct line of communication with them versus relying on a ‘push a ton of books out, see what sells through’ approach.”

I agree. For years, bookstore signings was the way to drive sales. As noted in the article, the Lincoln Center Barnes & Noble store routinely showcases readings, signings and other events. With the close of stores, authors need to seek other outlets for customer interaction and driving sales – online: podcasts, film tours, blog tours, book videos, and book trailers. Bookvideos.tv, a social media video site that “offers the back story about the lives, personalities and the inspirations of these engaging writers,” allows readers to “meet” the authors they love – in the comfort of their own homes. There are many web outlets for authors to connect with their audience, without the travel hassle for the author and the travel expense to the publisher.

What ways are you identifying specific audience types and connecting with your readers online?