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Publishers Optimistic about Brick and Mortar Stores: Book Expo America

From World Magazine:

NEW YORK—Online retailers like Amazon are still gobbling market share for books, but book publishers are unexpectedly optimistic about the future of physical bookstores.

Publishers held their largest annual gathering in New York last week, the BookExpo America (BEA), where they show off their titles and discuss trends in the industry. On the eve of the gathering, the trade group American Booksellers Association (ABA) announced that 2,000 independent bookstores now exist nationally, the highest number since 2005. Twenty years ago, there were twice as many independent bookstores, but after several years of decline the trade group is pointing to a resurgence.

Not only are we still here, there are more of us,” said Oren Teicher, the CEO of ABA.

The article includes these highlights:

…Some publishers and retailers also think the eBook trend has leveled out—in other words, eBooks are unlikely to take much more of the market than they currently do. Several publishers discussed successful experiments they’ve done in pairing a physical book sale with a digital edition, so customers can read wherever they are. The more time people spend reading, they said, the more books they will buy…

Barron’s last week published an article arguing that Barnes & Noble’s stock was heavily undervalued. The booksellers’ retail stores continue to be profitable, and its digital side, Nook, is posting fewer and fewer losses…

…Publishers desperately want bookstores to survive. The animosity toward Amazon, which holds the majority market share of online book sales and eBook sales, was thinly veiled at a discussion about the future of bookstores…

…Amazon had no presence at BEA beyond a lone bookshelf stand with a small sign…

…But online retailers like Amazon can’t provide well what industry people called “discoverability.” Though online retailers can provide recommended titles based on past purchases with scary accuracy, nothing replaces the physical browsing experience. Even eBook publishers acknowledged that principle…

Read the full article at World.

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