|I love the brick/mortar book stores, too.|
Did the advent of the paperback book cause the demise of the hard back book? I’m not old enough to answer that question but the advent of anything that disturbs the status quo often results in predictions of doom and gloom.
I like hard back books, particularly the ones I hope to interest my children and grandchildren to read. They hold up better, they are more likely to have acid free paper and I just like them better. However as the prices have risen my ability and willingness to pay over $20.00 for a book decreased. Books from authors I truly love, I still try and get hardbacks. Any that I am not sure about, I get paper or now digitally at more affordable prices.
Baen Free Library offers a wonderful assortment of terrific books in digital format for FREE! I have downloaded them all, particularly since some of my all time favorite authors are represented. Interestingly I have since purchased some of the exact same stories in hard back and in paper because I enjoyed them so much. Some of those books are out of print and unavailable in the used market. I am thrilled to find them digitally and add them to my collection.
Admittedly I am a bit obsessed with books in all formats. I have stated my preference but I am not prejudiced regarding other formats. If my choice is no book or a book outside of my personal preference, I can guarantee you what my choice will be.
How does this relate to the title of this post, Amazon Detractors? Amazon is where my books are sold. My meaning, the books I have authored. Amazon’s market is enormous. I live in a small town, my local book store stocks my books and sells one on rare occasion. However my books sell consistently on Amazon. I’m self published, I don’t have the backing of a publishing house or an agent and yet my books are selling. I like to think it is because I have something worthwhile to say but I also recognize that no matter what you say if you get it in front of enough people, someone will buy it. Convenience store owners are known to believe that bags of dog crap will sell if you put it by the checkout. I frankly think my books are way better than dog crap but I sure haven’t been able to get my books near the register at the local book store. Amazon gives my books and many other unknown and known authors’ books, world wide visibility.
So once again, I don’t believe technology or new means of distribution are necessarily going to destroy a market. Change brings opportunities both positive and negative. Amazon and other on line vendors provide an opportunity for both authors and readers to have a much broader selection than any brick and mortar book store.
Is that the kiss of death for the local book stores, a la Borders?
If local bookstores don’t respond to the online challenge by maintaining or increasing customer service, adding the opportunity for downloading e-books for the technically challenged and providing the warm welcoming experience not available through the Internet they will fail.
As far as books are concerned, I take advantage of online and local businesses. As far as authoring books, there are opportunities galore for fledgling authors such as myself, primarily due to companies like Amazon. The world in general is in a tumultuous flux, how can the world of books be any different. Change is not always bad, sometimes we need to celebrate difference. I know that without my sales at Amazon, I probably would have only written my first book. With the sales at Amazon, I know have eight books in print with more to come, so for me, change in the world of books has been good.