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Troy

Are Bookstores Relevant? Cast Your Vote

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Nah'Sun that actually is an important distinction that I failed to make. The question was intended to be from the readers' perspective.

But how in heaven's name can a bookstore be bad for authors? Now I can image in any given case a particular book store may not work for a particular author. But surely, in the general case, bookstores are great for authors.

In the general case, you'd have to agree right? If not, what is the alternative; online sales, authors slingin' their own books, what?

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You don't need a book store to grind...there are authors who sold thousands of books without the help of a book store

There are more than one way to skin a cat...especially with the rise of e-books

Book stores hardly promote newbie authors anyway...they cater to well established authors

I've done countless book signings where the stores DID NOT promote the signing...I had to sell books on the fly...and then they got the nerve to want 40 percent

Never again

Frugal Books in Roxbury Boston was the ONLY store that was gracious enough to allow me to keep all the proceeds from my sales when they failed to promote the signing

#Salute

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PEACE & GHETTOHEAT®! UNFORTUNATELY THE STORES ARE BECOMING OBSOLETE, REASON WHY GHETTOHEAT® IS DOING DIRECT SALES, HAS CREATED A BASE WITH OVER 100,000 READERS ONLINE TO DATE (LIST DOESN'T INCLUDE THE 30,000 READERS FROM CORRECTIONAL FACILITIES & DIRECT ORDERS FROM READERS IN SOCIETY): & WILL CONTROL ALL DISTRIBUTION 100%--STARTING WITH THE RE-RELEASE OF CONVICT'S CANDY THIS FALL, WHICH IS ON ITS 6TH LARGE PRINT. BACK-TO-BASICS, BACK-TO-SCHOOL: BACK-TO-BLACK WALL STREET!

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GHETTOHEAT®: THE HOTNESS IN THE STREETS!!!™

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Nah'Sun is Frugal Books in Roxbury Boston Black owned? It took me a minute to find their website. I'll add them to my database.

Google is really a mess nowadays. They show yelp, Google own site (Google Plus), facebook.com,, yellow pages.com ALL of the site pulling content sources from Frugal Books. I could only find the Frugal Books site by going to Yelp to discover their URL!!!

As you've experienced Nah'Sun It is not uncommon for an independent bookstore not to promote a signing. If they print a physical flyer and do an eblast; that is pretty much the most you can expect. It is a resources issue. Money time and energy is spend on celebrity authors, as the have the most promise of generating a return on the investment. It really is up to the author to do their own promotion for a book signing -- anything extra the bookstore does is gravy. But I agree if a bookstore is gonna host an author they should help promote the fact at least minimally.

As you and "ALL CAPS" Hickson can attest you don't need a bookstore to sell a bunch of books. Further if you relied solely on bookstores to do your selling -- you'd be in a world of trouble - in terms of sales. But this is not to suggest that the physical stores (or websites for that matter) are irrelevant at least from the reader's perspective.

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Nevermind, I learned a little more about The Frugal Bookstore

When I get a minute I'm gonna ad images video and other features to the website database. I'm now thinking maybe I should have just have used WordPress CMS instead of designing my own for this purpose.

540245_294943763929878_1155191694_n.jpg

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Humm. For readers, a book store, like a library, provides an opportunity to travel through a world of words that is just waiting to be discovered. immersing oneself in its atmosphere amounts to an experience. Just like sometimes you'd rather curl up with a hard copy of a book rather than fiddle with a kindle device, sometimes you just want to explore the shelves instead of logging on to your computer.

Going on line to order a specific book is a convenience. Browsing a book store for what catches your eye is an adventure.

"Ya pays yer money, ya takes yer choice."

I give a slight edge to the relevancy of book stores and cast a "yes" vote. Old school is still to be reckoned with.

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Yes book stores are relevant to readers. I rarely go to book stores, but I would if I had more money. Real talk. I've always enjoyed the few trips I've taken to the book store. And online shopping can be overwhelming, especially if you have no clue what you're looking to read...but you know you want to take your time and find that perfect book for your weekend or your mood. Libraries are cool. But sometimes you get there and the item you need isn't available. Or it's only in audio and you wanted hard copy. A trip to the book store usually can solve that problem. So although visitation may be down, it's certainly not out, IMO.

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One argument I get against bookstores relevancy is the record store analogy. That is book are to Albums and eBook are to music files. The analogy is flawed in my opinion because you actually read the physical book; you handle it, you write in it, you turn pages, display them, look at pretty picture tear pages out, etc.

LP's and iTune files are listened to. As a result, when a technology make the process of listening easier and better the change from wind up Victrola to iPds is welcomed and the stores are not missed by anyone but the hardcore album -- any for those folks a few stores stay open.

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Troy

If that’s the case about book stores and their time and energy spent, I might as well throw my own events which I am doing now

The authors are BRINGING IN clientele because if the buyer doesn’t purchase a book at least they might buy something else

I felt like I was pimped since I’m advertising for the book store by busting my ass to sell my own book

You’ll be amazed to come across people who haven’t heard about the existence of a book store in the community UNTIL I approached them to buy my book

As a reader, I LOVE book stores…as an author, they can kiss my ass from here to Mississippi

As far as your last post…

I don't think that analogy is flawed because I love reading liner notes of albums...LOL

And yes, people actually tape album covers on their walls as a makeshift wall of fame

I'm one of the FEW who still purchase CDs and REFUSE to buy an e-reader

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The following was lifted from Facebook.




  • Delano Strachen The death of the independent book stores is the end of the independent writer. By extension is the end of independent thought. we can distill this as well. The death of the independents is the death of independence.
    The only place you may hear independent thinking is comedy.
    September 7 at 8:46am via mobile · Unlike· 2




  • Troy Johnson Del, I may use your argument; Death of the independent book store is death of independent thought. But in reality the closures of bookstores is more a reflection, rather than the cause, of the death of independent thought. I'll play around with the idea though...
    September 7 at 9:04am · Like· 1





  • Delano Strachen Who has the time, the interest or the focus. To a bookstore, maybe browse a bit. Buy a book or two and carry it around, It is more efficient to buy it online and read it electronically,
    September 7 at 9:07am via mobile · Like





  • Troy Johnson
    When it comes to efficiency as it relates to on-line purchasing of books I'm probably one of the most knowledgeable people about this subject on planet Earth (at least in the 99.999 percentile). In fact, I can argue against the propositio...See More
    September 7 at 9:20am · Like





  • Delano Strachen Troy initially I was going to say I wasn't implying causality. I haven't given it a great deal of thought. Getting rid of independent bookstores has a greater negative effect than get rid of original thought.
    Revolutions need a physical space to grow even if it starts in one mind?
    September 7 at 9:35am via mobile · Like





  • Troy Johnson Del I would argue that anything of consequence requires a physical space. I did not really start enjoying my work with AALBC.com until I started interacting with people -- bookstores are a large part of facilitating this. Besides who wants a world where everything is online.

    Del did you vote "Yes" or "No"?
    September 7 at 4:37pm · Like





  • Delano Strachen Nkiru is closed? What about the Internet.
    September 7 at 10:24pm · Like





  • Delano Strachen To me yes, to the general pop No. And since I am not a meglomaniac my answer would be No.
    September 7 at 10:26pm · Like





  • Troy Johnson
    Delano Nkiru closed years ago. I hate to use Nkiru as the poster child for closed bookstores but I think it is the only photo of a bookstore that I have that more than a few would recognize.

    Your response was regarding bookstores was int...See More
    Saturday at 7:56am · Like





  • Delano Strachen
    Troy you have known me since about 92. I am not really on the normal curve statistically. I can recognize my preferences are not shared by the mainstream. I'll give you a few examples: I have commuted to work since 1987 on a bicycle. I use ...See More
    Saturday at 4:56pm via mobile · Unlike· 1





  • Delano Strachen
    I prefer to go to an independent store where a person says hello even though it cost a bit more. It used to be if the cashier didn't greet you the store would pay you $5. Not certain what they were trying to do but I didn't work.
    Who wants ...See More
    Saturday at 5:11pm via mobile · Like





  • Troy Johnson
    I hear you Del. The burgeoning sameness is sad in a way. I can be in one of those out door malls in listening to music on the radio and not even know what city I'm in. Facebook's influences has even encroached on the physical worlds with...See More
    Sunday at 3:19pm · Like





  • Delano Strachen
    Relevancy doesn't become moot it becomes irrelevant. The net is not a physical space, yet is changing how we communicate, think and relate to the outside world.
    I used to say I am not worried until pubs/bars disappear. I used to joke that ...See More
    Sunday at 4:34pm via mobile · Like





  • Delano Strachen
    This a phrase in an EWF song can't buy love, You can't miss what you never had.
    I remember reading a story in New York Press. Which incidentally turned me on to Writers, Music, and Art. One of the writers take his cousin out sight seeing. T...See More
    Sunday at 4:47pm via mobile · Like





  • Troy Johnson I would argue that the trend toward sameness is bad. Indeed it is hell. I would also argue the growth of social media isn't help much either -- if you have a chance read this related loosing related conversation, which could have been entitled, "Are Black Book Websites Relevant?" Let me know what you think: http://aalbc.it/lessdiscussion -- ideally there, not here :-)
    Yesterday at 5:49am · Like





  • Delano Strachen Okay, but it is not sad to me, it is change. In fact it may be a positive change. I will check out the website.
    Yesterday at 6:38am via mobile · Like





  • Troy Johnson
    Del there have been some great thing (changes) made on the internet in the last 20 years. But there have been some bad ones too. Many of the bad changes are disguised as beneficial, like the con artist who makes you feel good as he is fle...See More
    Yesterday at 7:11am · Like





  • Delano Strachen No your digression is that point.
    The internet was started as a way for the military to communicate. A friend asked the following question. "If it is the web who are the flies?" Well your quote is correct and more to the point.
    Yesterday at 7:38am via mobile · Like





  • Troy Johnson
    Delanol! There is hope some guy on twitter (@AnonymousOwn3r) is claiming responsibility to bringing down GoDaddy and ALL of the websites they host. I'm not sure if the guy is credible but all my GoDaddy hosted websites are down, email, e...See More
    20 hours ago · Like





  • Delano Strachen
    Troy that is a temporary fix. The multi national company is not the problem. The US said to some drug producing country. "You have to stop selling drugs." Reply, "You have to stop buying."
    I used to read Tarot, in a Black owned cafe. Caf...See More
    19 hours ago via mobile · Like





  • Troy Johnson Yeah, you are probably right...
    19 hours ago · Like





  • Delano Strachen We are being sold product as community. We are so alienated that it works.
    19 hours ago via mobile · Like





  • Delano Strachen
    You sound a bit sad and there is neither reason nor point. I had a friend in the late 90's who was an illegal alien. I think at one point a about 1/4 of my crew were illegal and most were foreign. We used to hang out and go to parties. He s...See More
    18 hours ago via mobile · Like





  • Delano Strachen Hey Troy, I just remember I met this guy in Brixton (near Electric Ave), who said that he had the only(Used) Black Bookstore. His first name was Robert but again that was late 90's.
    18 hours ago via mobile · Like





  • Troy Johnson
    I assume Roberts bookstore was in NY City. Off the top of my head I'm not familiar with it.

    I'm not sad I just cynical and not very optimistic regarding a reversal of the current trends anytime soon unless something completely disruptive...See More
    16 hours ago · Like





  • Delano Strachen Don't be cynical just tend your garden. I clicked on the link I didn't see the thread. People have decided books aren't important. Not all just most. Product are always selling a feeling not the product.
    12 hours ago · Like

  • 157178_527744439_610470004_q.jpg

    Delano Strachen When is the last time you saw advertising that said, Cereal eat it is food. Or car put gas in and get there. No this isn't new. But now Advertisers are using neuroscience, we are no longer in Kansas.
    12 hours ago · Like





  • Delano Strachen BThe Bookstore was in Brixton in England(London?)
    12 hours ago · Like

  • 276284_620627049_934687739_q.jpg

    Troy Johnson
    I did visit a bookstore in Brixton, but that was probably 10 years ago it was a relatively small cluttered store (could it be the same place)?
    We never were in Kansas. I read book over 30 years ago talking about subliminal messages in adv...See More
    5 hours ago · Like

  • 372521_1668500941_809618628_q.jpg

    Helene Tomlinson absolutely relevant...what's the argument...that they wouldn't be?
    5 hours ago · Like





  • Helene Tomlinson
    sort of related but a little different..technology is relevant and a part of our modern lifestyles..has also contributed to increased obesity in our young people i,e, video games and the like and a decline in certain social/critical thinkin...See More
    5 hours ago · Like





  • Troy Johnson
    Helene even though I plan to argue for the relevancy of bookstores, I could easily argue the other side and I'll do so to address your statement.

    There has been a dramatic decline in the number of Black owned bookstores in the last deca...See More
    5 hours ago · Like





  • Helene Tomlinson
    ‎..Troy Johnson..I agree...I think costs...real estate, over head are very stifling and can cut into any profits...on a less serious note..look at Black hair and beauty market..at one time it was just a niche market..we supported our Black ...See More
    5 hours ago · Like· 1





  • Helene Tomlinson
    ‎..my last comment here ..then signing off...I was just listening to Tom Joyner ..and he was recapping his show's coverage of the 911 attacks..and someone made a comment..Black radio at its best,,that's what we do..and that is the role of i...See More
    4 hours ago · Like· 1





  • Troy Johnson
    Helene I live in Harlem and it is beyond absurd that we own so few of the Black hair care product stores, and that there is only one Black owned independent bookstore in Harlem, Sister's Uptown: http://aalbc.it/sistersuptown (actually ther...See More
    4 hours ago · Like· 1

  • 211284_732376203_112285316_q.jpg

    Ron Kavanaugh
    Helene, we can blame many things, including retail stores expenses: rent and other costs, but in the end bookstores are closing because of lack of demand. If a community cannot keep a business open it means that business is no longer releva...See More
    3 hours ago · Like

  • 273849_1011865998_1321631013_q.jpg

    Muse Manning
    bookstores, as well as printed books, owe more 2 nostalgia than functionality. the need 4 both is attached 2 the previous generation. i too miss chilling in borders, the african-american sections i knew i could make a beeline for @ every st...See More
    3 hours ago · Like





  • Troy Johnson
    ‎@Muse What is the alternative for getting Black books -- the web? Man the web has seen better days and is in decline too. eBooks from Amazon? People are just overwhelmed there are a bazillion authors, most mediocre at best and readers h...See More
    3 hours ago · Edited · Like





  • Muse Manning ok then. just gotta wait it out & see. the writing's already on the wall. LoL
    3 hours ago · Like





  • Troy JohnsonRon "Why are Black People Marginalizing Themselves" where do I start. Lets just stick with books for now :-)
    3 hours ago · Like





  • Muse Manning here's a thought, if brick & mortar bookstores r such viable business models, why not open the AALBC black bookstore? (o;
    3 hours ago · Like





  • Ron Kavanaugh I think some stores are viable because of location and technology adoption. I'd argue most people make purchasing decisions based on word-of-mouth recommendation, further marginalizing the need for "hand-selling." But the bookstore viability model isn't the issue. If every bookstore practiced the best business practices it still wouldn't address the effect of ebooks and Amazon's ease of access.
    3 hours ago · Edited · Like





  • Delano Strachen Physical bookstores are irrelevant, Black Bookstores doubly so. My mother used to say the liquor store and the funeral parlor do good business.
    about an hour ago via mobile · Like





  • Ron Kavanaugh we drink and die for sure
    about an hour ago · Like





  • Delano Strachen I think it was Sonia Sanchez who said at her book signing. I make it a point to include small bookstores, since they have been the incubators of new writers.
    Troy are you saying that online bookstores have the same overhead. Maintaining a server cost as much as maintaining a property?
    about an hour ago via mobile · Like





  • Troy Johnson
    Del it appears you are more cynical than I am with the liquor store statement :-)

    Ron ebook and book are to different things they are not direct substitutes and of course Amazon.com is not a physical bookstore -- they serve different pu...See More
    about an hour ago · Edited · Like





  • Delano Strachen If you want to keep Bookstores open sell coffee in the day and alcohol at night.
    Or you could sell books and journals in a Brothel. Instead of the cigarette girl you could have the book boy. Have a tie-in with a product that can't be sold virtually.
    about an hour ago via mobile · Like





  • Helene Tomlinson
    One other point..I think evolve or die is relevant here...CVS at one time was primarily a drug store. Sold over the counter meds. Filled prescriptions. Some household products. They were primarily a health care related entity. Now CVS sells...See More
    about an hour ago via mobile · Like





  • Helene Tomlinson Up until about 5 years ago there was a brother who sold books.. Black books by Black authors..from a pushcart in downtown Boston.. he was very successful.. until his passing.
    about an hour ago via mobile · Like





  • Ron Kavanaugh
    print or electronic, books are books. there's no difference. Businesses can co exist but if you want to grow you have to recognize that you may have to buy the store next to you --no way around it.

    but again, because i believe a book is a
    book, regardless of how it's purchased, I'm holding to the fact that the ease of book buying and lack of desire for peeps to leave their house and go purchase a book or attend booksigning is "gravy" on the bookstore demise.

    and there have always been a handful of black-book focused sites. to go from 25 to 10 reflects the success/failure rate of all business. Half fail in 2 years, 80% after 5 years. what is it about the book business that gives you confidence that we should buck the general business success rate?
    about an hour ago · Like





  • Troy JohnsonRon, herein lie our fundamental disagreements.

    (1) eBooks and not books. I use both in many variations. There are time when i prefer a physical book an times when I prefer an eBook. I doubt I'm alone in this regard. And I know their are people who just use physical books.

    (2) This "there can be only one" mentality is simply wrong. In France you saw more bookstores on a single street than there are in all of the Bronx. How do you explain that. Indeed there are many areas in the city where you can find several stores on the same type right next to each other. No two independent book stores are exactly the same. If I could open up a Black focused bookstore right next to McNally Jackson (one of NY largest independent booksellers) that is not a Black neighborhood I would -- there is a synergy being next to a similar -- not identical store.

    (3) The argument that business fail does not apply we are not talking about poorly run business. Besides the vast majority of those bookstores on the list I provided we open for more than 5 years. As well as all the closed bookstores in Harlem, save Nubian Heritage.
    57 minutes ago · Like

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BOOKSTORE RENTS ARE EXTREMELY HIGH, WHICH IS ANOTHER REASON WHY THE STORES ARE CLOSING: KIOSKS IN MALLS CAN ALONE DEMAND $10,000 PER MONTH. IF PEOPLE AREN'T FULLY SUPPORTING, HOW CAN ONE SURVIVE: ESPECIALLY NOW THAT ALL IS NOW DIGITAL? YET, I STILL FEEL THERE ARE MORE THINGS THAT STORE OWNERS CAN DO AND NEED TO DO TO STAY IN THE GAME. I'VE DISCUSSED THIS PREVIOUSLY:

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The results of this survey may be found here http://aalbc.com/blog/index.php/2012/11/01/bookstores-relevant/

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