In the age of technological advancement and digitalization, brick-and-mortar stores seem to be slowly fading away. Online booksellers, e-readers, and digital libraries have all made it increasingly difficult for bookstores to compete with them, as they cannot match up to the convenience.
Though retail booksellers may be unable to match an online bookstore’s convenience and cost-effective business model, they offer one thing that online sellers lack – a sense of community.
So, are bookstores really dying a slow death? Let’s explore the changing literary market and how online and brick-and-mortar booksellers can coexist.
Are Bookstores Slowly Going Extinct?
Despite what we may believe about the slow death of bookstores, the truth is that some independent brick-and-mortar bookstores are actually thriving. This is because they offer more than just the opportunity to find and peruse books.
Brick-and-mortar bookstores offer a sense of community that is nearly impossible to replicate in an online store, even if the said store has a forum for customers to interact.
After all, the ambiance and sense of comfort one feels in a bookstore are not the same as scrolling through an online bookseller’s catalog.
However, with the rise in e-books, online bookstores, and digital libraries, bookstores have indeed struggled to keep up. It has also impacted readers’ reading habits- the rise of audiobooks and e-readers enabling you to bookmark and annotate a book, customize fonts and sizes, and deliver a more personalized reading experience.
When digitalization first impacted the literary world, there were numerous conversations surrounding the impending death of brick-and-mortar bookstores. Bookstores across the globe were losing business, and some, including the bookstore mammoth Barnes and Noble, were even going out of business.
However, as things leveled out and the technology lost its novelty, it was revealed that bookstores were not on the verge of extinction. They were simply changing to accommodate the altered dynamics in the bookstore industry. With time, brick-and-mortar and online bookstores found a balance, and readers can now enjoy the best of both worlds, though there may be fewer brick-and-mortar bookstores in their vicinity.
Final Thoughts: How to Cope With the Decline in Bookstores as an Author
The decline in bookstores worldwide has indeed impacted authors, but not as drastically as one may think. While bookstores are undoubtedly safe havens for authors to interact with readers and promote their books through readings and events, indie authors may not have much to lose.
With social media and other online marketing strategies to grow your audience and sell your books, the decrease in bookstores doesn’t have to be a major concern if you’re looking to self-publish. In fact, Elite Publishing will ensure that your hard work pays off and your book makes it to the bestsellers list with all the right branding and marketing! Apply to work with us today!