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Zane
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Post Number: 68
Registered: 11-2004

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Posted on Tuesday, January 22, 2008 - 07:49 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)




January 22, 2008



Dear Karibu Customer,



After 15 years of service within the Washington, DC metropolitan area, Karibu Books, a Black bookstore chain will be closing its doors. We sincerely thank each and every one of you for your patronage and support. We are optimistic that our mission to empower and educate through a comprehensive selection of books by and about people of African descent will continue to resonate within the communities we proudly served.



Since 1993, we have been blessed to help thousands of local, regional and national authors share their incredible stories of faith, hope, love, peace, politics and race. We cannot begin to express our gratitude for the countless authors who have graced our six stores and enriched our customersí lives.



On Sunday, January 27th, We will be closing our Security Square (Baltimore, MD) and Forestville locations. The remaining locations, Bowie Town Center, The Mall at Prince Georges and Iverson Mall will close on Sunday, February 10th. Our Pentagon City store is already closed.



Effective immediately, all inventory at all locations will be 50% off. All fixtures will also be available for purchase on February 10th. See individual store managers for more information.



Again, we respectfully thank you for your loyalty, laughter and love. What an honor and privilege it has been to serve our community!



Sincerely,

Simba Sana

CEO

Karibu Books

Karibu Locations:

Security Square Mall, 6901 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, Md 21244, 410.944.6090

Centreí at Forestville, 3289 B Donnell Drive, Forestville, Md 20747, 301.736.6170

The Mall at Prince Georgeís, 3500 East West Hwy, Hyattsville, Md 20782, 301.559.1140

Iverson Mall, 3817 Branch Ave., Hillcrest Heights, Md. 20748, 301.899.3730

Bowie Town Center, 15624 Emerald Way, Bowie, Md 20716, 301.352.4110
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Libralind2
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Posted on Tuesday, January 22, 2008 - 07:51 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Zane how is your bookstore doing..?
LiLi
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Zane
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Posted on Tuesday, January 22, 2008 - 08:04 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I closed my store more than two years ago. December 2005. However, I am contemplating starting another one with limited hours. I found one location in Baltimore but was not feeling the lease but I do have a warehouse with a storefront in Upper Marlboro, MD that I might do something with. I have had the warehouse for six years but am now going to make it functional so that I can do my sex toy line-LOL

This is truly sad about Karibu. I was aware that there were some issues and had hoped it did not come down to this. I prayed for them just this morning but I will be eternally grateful for all of the support they gave me and my authors over the years. They did something incredible like 700 signings per year, and helped to launch a lot of careers. Plus, and more importantly, I consider all of them to be dear friends.

Zane
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Zane
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Posted on Tuesday, January 22, 2008 - 09:18 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I would just like to add that Karibu was one of the few AA store chains that was allowed to report to the New York Times List, they were the bookseller for the Congressional Black Caucus at the Washington Convention Center as well as the Baltimore Book Festival and many other venues. This is a sad day for AA booksellers and I am very disheartened by this. They were the first and I do mean the FIRST AA store to carry my books, while some others acted like they were too good to carry them.

More and more we are hearing about our stores shutting down. I am not sure what the answer is but the recession will likely hit this industry as people scramble to pay their bills and make their rising mortgage payments.

Zane
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Troy
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Posted on Wednesday, January 23, 2008 - 11:28 am:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The following email was followed to me from Chris Chambers Author of A Prayer for Deliverance: An Angela Bivens Thriller (http://www.aalbc.com/reviews/a_prayer_for_deliverance.htm) & Sympathy For The Devil by Christopher Chambers (http://aalbc.com/reviews/sympathy_for_the_devil.htm)

It is reprinted here with his permission


Hey Faith--

I'm sure you got some form of this email below (or perhaps heard it from the source or saw the website).

Sad, evil thing that's happening. Dropping like flies...but why? Okay, this is a tough economy, I know. There're always business goblins re: supply, finance, control, management personalities. Nevertheless, we should ponder an unspoken business model question. Think about it this way: there's always a niche, under the radar. But when you're forced to push the street fiction and the more simplistic/crass chickit/soapopera stuff and Video Vixen nonfiction--the same product as the huge chains--and there's no price break, better service, more convenience, etc., the chains will win every time. Ergo, put out a unique product and enhanced service. Yes there are large "white" indie stores barely scraping by, but that's how they do scrape by. Look at the specialty mystery shops which stand the test of time, the comic book stores, even the antiquarian shops. I know that's easier said than done, but it's worth the effort when the alternative is shuttering these businesses, liquidating the stock and Wal-Mart-ing everything in sight.

In my D.C.-Balto. area, brimming with black professionals, students, educators, military folk with an education (in other words--officers!!! and I don't care if that sounds elitist), entrepreneurs, mid-level managers to corporate VPs, this state of affairs is especially troubling.

But we soldier on.

CAC
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Troy
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Posted on Wednesday, January 23, 2008 - 11:45 am:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Judging by the number of phone calls and emails received on Karibuís closing. This is the biggest story of the last 12 months Ė and weíve had a few shockers.

This is a big loss.

While we can point to a recession, the internet, brick and mortar superstores, and a host of other things to explain Karibuís closing. But like the seemingly great marriage that goes bust Ė you never know what goes on behind closed doorsÖ

My initial reactions was why close ALL the stores Ė focus resources on one or two of the most profitable entities and regroup. But again Iíd donít have nearly enough information to know if this even makes sense. As hard as it is to take, closing all the stores may have made perfect sense.


http://www.karibubooks.com
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Hen81
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Posted on Wednesday, January 23, 2008 - 02:06 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The pace seems to be picking up. At the end of 2006 Black Images in Dallas closed, Under One Roof in Kileen, TX closed or is closing this month and now Karibu. Other AA bookstores that I have visited are barely there anymore.

The primary issue is the decline in reading period and the evolution of books into commodity products that are sold in every Walmart, Target and grocery store. The days when readers expected knowledgable store owners to direct them to an unknown gem are long gone. This is the age of mass merchandising. Go in grab your book, bread and motor oil all in one stop. The discounting model form distributors does not allows small stores to compete as large chains and discounters sell popular books close to or below the price that most independents pay to buy the books. At the same time the profits of the large chains are suffering but they make it up on volume. With the giants fighting it out, independents become casualties.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB119999631156781803.html?mod=yahoo_hs&ru=yahoo

http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/080110/barnes_noble_outlook.html?.v=1

Large chains and discounters can demand discounts direct form publishers due to their buying power. Additional discounts are given to become featured on the new arrival tables and displays at the entrance of stores. Extended payment terms, return policies etc. It is going to a tough period ahead as we know who gets hit the hardest during an economic slowdown with rising pricies for the basics.

www.DTPollard.com
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Emanuel
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Posted on Wednesday, January 23, 2008 - 02:28 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I'm sad to see them go. Unlike so many other stores, including AA, they took a chance on my self-pubbed novel from an unknown author such as me and ordered copies for their stores. Many other stores asked me to send them a review copy, and I still haven't heard from them 2 years later, even black-owned stores in one of the main cities I grew up in.

Pretty soon, Essence will no longer have reporting bookstores to create a bestseller's list because they'll all be closed.
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Cynique
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Posted on Wednesday, January 23, 2008 - 02:48 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

All privately-owned book stores are suffering. The book-of the-month clubs have also siphoned readers away, with ads that offer 5 best-sellers for-a-dollar introductory offers.
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Emanuel
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Posted on Wednesday, January 23, 2008 - 04:30 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Things are bad. Heck, even Starbucks is experimenting with $1.00 coffees and free refills.

http://biz.yahoo.com/rb/080123/starbucks.html?.v=4&.pf=banking-budgeting
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Mochascafe
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Posted on Wednesday, January 23, 2008 - 04:59 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

This is truly a loss to "Chocolate City" I have partnered with Karibu on events and they have always been top notch. I am really going to miss Lee McDonald and "her crew". I always stood in awe at her ability to pull off so many events back to back, sometimes several in one day. I was in her position for working for a "big chain" but we always managed to touch base and compare notes. I know everyone is giving Simba his props and rightfully so, but I just wanted to commend my Sister Lee for being an exceptional Marketing Manager for Karibu. For all the Self Published Authors that just needed a chance to showcase their work and I was "not allowed" to book those authors because they would not be the "right fit" for the store (Zane you know what I am talking about) Lee and Karibu books will surely be missed.
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Robynmarie
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Posted on Wednesday, January 23, 2008 - 09:55 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Wow, what terrible news.
I did a signing at Karibu in Baltimore, and though I am a relative unknown they treated me like a best-selling author.

Esowon, a landmark and cultural bookstore in L.A. is rumoured to be closing this year.

There is an AA bookstore in my hometown could be closing this year after 15 years in business.

The owner claims online outlets like Amazon have siphoned much of her business. She is thinking of opening a combination home decor/bookstore. She said selling big ticket items like furniture will allow her to still sell books.
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Zane
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Posted on Thursday, January 24, 2008 - 10:21 am:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Mocha,

I spoke to Lee twice yesterday. She is wonderful, as are all of the people at Karibu. They have supported my off-site events for years. I have written employees of Karibu into my novels and had the characters pratonizing the stores. I am really hurt by this and the tide that the industry is taking. I have to add that while the megastores and the book clubs are taking a lot of business, there is also a lot of shadiness going on. I am ready to call a spade a spade.

Certain publishers are selling street vendors books for $3 and cutting the authors out of their royalties. If a street vendor can purchase a $15 retail price book for $3 and sell it for $10, they will do it. An honest publisher might sell them the books at $9 and the vendor is like, why do that and make a dollar profit.

Consumers are going to see the "10 dollar bookman" or the "7 dollar bookman" to save money and not really care what the books are, just that they are getting them at a discount. This is really hurting the industry more than anything else at the moment. However, like all dirt, it will eventually be exposed.

I know the logical question is how do I know so much. The answer is because I have been in this industry a long time and know a lot of people. The vendors call me, come past my office, email me, etc. trying to get me to cut them similar deals because "so and so" is hooking them up. Not the kid. I do not believe that you have to rip someone off to be successful and money is simply not that important to me. Being able to sleep at night and having a clear conscious are vital to me. As a writer, before I was even a publisher, it disgusts me to witness what is happening. All the beefs, all the criminal activity, all the drama. I hope that things take a turn for the better but, quite honestly, I fear the worst.

Now sit back and see if anyone tries to cause me some backlash because of my comments. Like everything else, the only people who will get offended are the ones who have something to hide.

Zane
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Hen81
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Posted on Thursday, January 24, 2008 - 11:19 am:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Zane, there was a tirade from an author about this very subject of his books being sold for that amount on the street. This is really turning legitimate work into the equal of a pirated DVD of a newly released movie. The difference is that it is the actual book and not a reduced quality replication.

When these people do this that have wrapped themselves up in a cloak of being a legitimate publisher with signed author contracts is nothing short of theft. Authors have to take care when they decide to hand over their rights. Also I have learned where there is smoke there is fire. These smaller and one person driven publishers have few checks and balances beyond the integrity of the founders unlike corporate organizations. Authors would do themselve a favor by checking with other writers under contract and with bookstore owners because I have found that they get feedback form authors on their satisfaction with publishers.

As long as some in our community have a flea market mentality and translate that to a business disguised as legitimate, there will be problems. Somewhere this will come to a tragic conclusion. One story of financial ruin I read would get someone hurt if it happened to the wrong person.

www.DTPollard.com

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Cynique
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Posted on Thursday, January 24, 2008 - 12:47 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Just as a sign of the times. The book industry is falling victim to the street culture. It happens in all venues; outlaws will always find a way to capitalize on and bastardize the legitimate.

In Chicago, food stamps eventually became a form of currency. People would sell their stamps to others at a reduced cost to make money for themselves. Welfare officials tried to remedy the situation by issuing their recipiants plastic cards requiring a pin number. Soon after, people started letting others use their "Link Cards" for a fee.

People buy a pack of cigarettes which in Chicago cost as much as $6.00 and they will sell them loose for 50 cents each. And, of course there is the tremendous trafficking in bootleg movie CDS.

On the "street" any commody becomes a cash cow for those who are aided and abetted by those who can't resist a bargain. And so it goes.
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Ncgirl
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Posted on Thursday, January 24, 2008 - 12:49 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

On washingtonpost.com, an article written about Karibu's closing sites an internal conflict among the owners whether or not (or when) the company should go national, not because of financial difficulties.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/01/23/AR2008012302769. html?hpid=topnews&sid=ST2008012304481
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Cynique
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Posted on Thursday, January 24, 2008 - 01:01 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I meant "commodity", not "commody".
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Hen81
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Posted on Thursday, January 24, 2008 - 01:44 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

After reading that story it brought some things into focus. Regardless of the internal strife there are ways to resolve internal conflicts. Buyouts are one way and internal splits of revenues are another. A divorce usually means a split of assets. If assets are tied up in a business, then a sale or liquidaton may be required. Many companies large and small have been sold and/or liquidated to get liquid assets out for settlements.

Titles not coming in are one thing, a shutdown is another. National vs. regional is a hard play if it takes the assets of everyone involved to pull it off and some don't want to go that route or stay status quo.

It's hard to believe a sale or buyout vs liquidation was not possible if the business was profitable with managable debt. something does not seem right.

www.DTPollard.com
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Troy
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Posted on Thursday, January 24, 2008 - 02:02 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

PW Article

Karibu Books to Close
By Judith Rosen -- Publishers Weekly, 1/24/2008 6:54:00 AM
http://www.publishersweekly.com/article/CA6525204.html?nid=2286&source=link&rid= 1798855972&


Troy's Note:
The article reports that the Crenshaw/South LA institution, Eso Won Book Store survives with addiitonal community support.
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Troy
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Posted on Thursday, January 24, 2008 - 07:37 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Most informative article (I've read) article on the Karibu's closing...

Karibu book chain is closing
Stores promoted African-American writers

By Andrea K. Walker | Sun reporter
January 24, 2008
http://www.baltimoresun.com/business/bal-bz.karibu24jan24,0,5646430.story

"Sana said low sales or a bad economy weren't the reason for Karibu's demise."


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Hen81
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Posted on Thursday, January 24, 2008 - 09:10 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

In that same article Sana stated:

In a phone interview, Sana blamed internal management problems for the financial plight of the book chain. He said the company owed vendors thousands of dollars and planned to file for bankruptcy.

"The blame falls squarely on myself and others in the company," Sana said.

"The financial position was a downward spiral," he added. "I would need a miracle to pay back all the debt now."

Later on the statement was:

"Sana said low sales or a bad economy weren't the reason for Karibu's demise."



http://www.baltimoresun.com/business/bal-bz.karibu24jan24,0,5646430.story

Those two statements in the same article are disturbing and really speak to some serious disconnects. I saw a crawl on the bottom of CNN about this chain closing. That's how big this was.

www.DTPollard.com

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Connie_briscoe
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Posted on Monday, January 28, 2008 - 09:04 am:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Whatever the reasons for this latest AA bookstore closing--and I'm sure there are many--it feels like the end of an era.

I suspect that even the chains like Borders and Barnes and Noble are next. It might take a while, but it's a coming. When the Kindle and Sony Readers become easier and less expensive to use--bye-bye mortar and brick bookstores. Amazon has a chance to survive since it has the Kindle. B&N will become more prominent online. But digital is the future, and the brick and mortar bookstore is going the way of the record store, probably within the next 10 years.

www.conniebriscoe.com
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Troy
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Posted on Monday, January 28, 2008 - 01:18 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Connie,

Almost a decade ago I thought that eBooks today would have a much greater impact of on our lives today. Part of the reason is that much of the technology that Microsoft, in particular, touted as coming turned out to be mostly hype. As a result, Iím much more skeptical about the prospect of technology supplanting physical books at least in the near termÖ

I have not seen the Kindle physically, but it does appear to it addresses many of the deficiencies that made previous incarnations of eBooks inadequate.

I bet if they got the engineers at Apple to design it and give it a little more functionality; it would have a lot more traction -- I might have brought one myself. Right now I have my eye on that MacBook AirÖ

I also donít think book stores will go away. The internet has its place and will continue to grow, but it can not replace (at least not yet), physical interactions possible in a brick and mortar book store. Ultimately, I believe technology will, enhance, not replace our experience with books and each other.

Besides the rumored demise of Black book stores are perhaps premature. Consider Brownstone Book Store in Brooklyn, NY they are expanding to a second location: http://www.brownstonebooks.com/bb_bam.html Karibuís demise seems to have little to do with demand.

Another example is McNally Robinson in NYC http://www.mcnallyrobinsonnyc.com/ is doing quite nicely. Owner Sarah McNally is married to publishing industry veteran Chris Jackson, the staff has included several folks with keen knowledge of African American literature. In fact Iíll be there tomorrow checking out author Nicole Blades: http://aalbc.com/authors/nicole_blades.htm

For those of you who donít know Connie is an accomplished author herself. He book of photography with Michael Cunningham Jewels: 50 Phenomenal Black Women Over 50 was nominated for an Essence Literary Award http://books.aalbc.com/2008_essence_literary_awards_nominees.htm#PHOTOGRAPHY
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Zane
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Posted on Monday, January 28, 2008 - 04:26 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

A lot of the chains are experiencing a downside on their sales and posted huge losses in 2007. For me, I will always prefer the hard copy book. As a publisher, I have tons of opportunities to read manuscripts on computers and I am not feeling it.

There will be a change in how books are sold though. No denying that. We will have to be more innovative in our marketing strategies.

Blessings,
Zane

P.S. Hey, Connie. Let's do lunch sometime soon.
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Mochascafe
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Posted on Monday, January 28, 2008 - 07:08 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

It also makes it hard when I am planning events for the show or large scale author events. We always have a bookseller! For instance I am right in the middle of planning the Author Pavilion for the NAACP Convention in Cincinnati and I am telling you, it has become increasingly difficult to find an AA bookstore to sell the books and one that can handle the large list of authors.

What we have decided to do was post an RFP for bookstores to submit their bids to be the official bookstore at the pavilion. When it's finished Ill pass it on to you Troy.

It would be great if it is an AA Bookstore but to tell you the truth, shipping costs and union costs at the convention centers often deter smaller independents from getting in the running right off. Last year in Detroit the cost to move the books from the truck into the convention center was somewhere in the tune of $10,000. And thats the convention center's cost for their union employees. Not to mention staffing and additional expenses. Its a tough game out here!

PS, Hello Connie, congrats on the Essence Nomination!
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Zane
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Posted on Monday, January 28, 2008 - 08:32 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Yes, having booths at conventions is crazy. We do the BEA every year and it is a whooping bill. I hope you find a store and even with the chains, because of the costs involved they will be reluctant to carry a bunch of titles at a convention.

Blessings,
Zane
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Robynmarie
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Posted on Monday, January 28, 2008 - 08:51 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Connie-I think I saw one of your Recorded Books today in the library. Forgive me if I can't remember the title. Very nice.

Zane-BEA is in L.A. this year, which I love since I live here. Have you ever thought about doing the L.A. Times Festival of Books at UCLA? You would get lots of love there.
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Mochascafe
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Posted on Monday, January 28, 2008 - 10:21 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Funny you mention BEA this year. There will be a Pavilion that will be open to the public this year or as it will formally be named "The Open Pavilion" Look out for a formal announcement soon! :-)
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Connie_briscoe
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Posted on Monday, January 28, 2008 - 10:47 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Troy, I hope you're right. Like you and Zane I much prefer holding a book in my hand and I love bookstores! I can and do spend hours in them.

But I fear that when the Kindle or something similar comes down in price--that is, when the makers of these gadgets decide to make their money thru the sales of digital downloads and are willing to take a loss or break even on the gadget itself by making it cheaper (e.g, cell phones, ipods), well I think the demise of the stores will be just around the corner. We will be reading our Kindles in coffee shops.

I don't think it will happen tomorrow and it will happen gradually. But in 10-15 years time...

And thanks for the congratulations and compliments everyone.
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Cac
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Posted on Thursday, January 31, 2008 - 11:29 am:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The tactile and visual interaction of paper will never entirely go away. It will just be a distraction for folks whose parents/grandparents (ie folk like us, if you wanna be honest) exposed them to such. The mass of people who think weed plus Madden Football is the only way to take your mind to another place won't even be using a Kindle (or into whatever the Kindle may evolve). I take that from William Shatner, who hosted a show on Discovery illustrating how gadgets from Star Trek inspired scientists and enigneers who were kids or teens watching the show to develop stuff like flipphones etc. The Kindle's an example. He said on the show his log was read and recorded on something akin to a Kindle plus one of those tablet laptops. Tech journals and manuals, other product or work/school-related stuff was on these devices. They could be adapted for pleasure reading; however, he also noted that even in the scifi show people still kept and read books for pleasure because in the context of the show it was a "hobby" or novelty--they way we might ride a horse today! Something quaint, interesting, nostalgic. Keeping and reading bound paper books would be a hobby of the elite or artsy crowd, not the everyday folk. They'd be hanging with the Klingons...peeping to 200 year images of "Superhead." ;-)
-Chambers
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Hen81
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Posted on Thursday, January 31, 2008 - 04:14 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Books are a unique product. I can grab a book and take it on vacataion, on a bus, train etc. If I take a book to the beach and leave it to go into the water I'm not too worried if it walks away. My exposure is $25 to $30 maximum.

If my ebook reader is stolen or left on the train/plane, it could be hundreds to thousands of dollars gone. My entire electronic library is gone along with the reader. I think these ebook readers will top out at a certain level of market penetration and stall.

A printed book is easy, portable, limited loss ceiling and can be stuffed into a bag with little concern. If I drop a printed book I'm not too worried if it will still work.

www.DTPollard.com
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Cynique
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Posted on Thursday, January 31, 2008 - 06:11 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

For aesthetic reasons, I hope you 2 will be emulated, but you are not of a generation weaned on shoes fastened with velcro, and time-telling learned on digital clocks, - exponents of a computerized culture who are dismissive of the art of cursive writing, adept in the use of calculators, addicted to text-messaging, lost without their MP2 players, bored without their electronic games, hynotized by Rap beats, bonded with MySpace and YouTube, connected through e-mail.

Hopefully these automatons of the upcoming generation will re-charge their batteries and see the light.
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Hen81
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Posted on Friday, February 01, 2008 - 01:05 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Cynique, I have to tell you that my living has depended on computer technology since I started working full time in 1981. I have sold mainframe computers, PCs and imaging technology for over 25 years. I sit at a PC all day on email, webex and the like. It's just that some things lend themselves better to electronic technology than others.

Music and video games are a natural. Reading, other than stuff like emails, short articles etc., becomes tedious on a screen. Anything over a page or so gives me the urge to print it on paper. That is why print volumes stay high with personal printers. HP makes more money on ink and toner for printers than it does on computers. I don't see printed books going away. That's why I print my manuscripts when I proofread instead of doing it on my computer.

www.DTPollard.com
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Cynique
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Posted on Friday, February 01, 2008 - 01:53 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

You are from a different age-bracket, Hen81.

I agree that books will not disappear but they might very well become a novelty in the coming years. And print will, of course, continue to be a supplement for technology.

"Reading" as a pass time is the operative idea. Members of this instant gratification generation opt to get their information by going on line or even listening to the radio, and they get their entertainment from movies and TV. A generation who doesn't read books, doesn't need books. IMO.
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Troy
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Posted on Friday, February 01, 2008 - 02:39 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Everyone the limitation expressed here regarding eBooks will ultimately be addressed. The eye strain from looking at a monitor, the risk of damage from dropping, the financial risk off data lost, and cost will all be addressed. In fact the kindle addresses, really all but the cost issue. The Kindleís advantages, for most people far out weigh the disadvantages relative to a hardcover book. Amazon is doing a poor job marketing this device. Iím a long time Amazon affiliate and I learned abut the Kindle on Thumperís Corner.

Until there is sufficient market penetration, eBook readers will continue to be a fringe device for early adopters. I donít know what it costs to manufacture these things, but I would start giving them away and make the money the eBook. The way HP gives away printers and Verizon gives away cell phones.

Do we really think newspapers and books will continue in there present form? The Wall Street Journal recently reduced the size of the paper Ė making it much easier to read on the go. However most of the articles I read are downloaded from the net and printed out on 8.5 X 11 paper which is far superior to reading it in the newspaper itself. I subscribe to the Journal, but I will let this subscription expire because over the course of a day I will read articles from the NY Times, the ATL Const Journal, The Baltimore Sun, etc, etc.

Also, the print newspapers sometimes donít get delivered and newspapers like the WS Journal just take up a lot of space and can pile up quickly. I keep papers lying around thinking Iíll eventually get to an article I did not have a chance to read. It would be much easier if the article were on easily retrievable on an eBook device. I still may never get to the articles, but at least I would not have to deal with the recycling.

Today Iíll even email articles to my cell phone and read them there (especially if I have to go to the post office or airport where I know Iíll have plenty of idle time).

So I fundamentally agree with Connie regarding bookstores, long term viability in their current incarnation. It is only a question of when. Iím thinking more than 10 years

Book stores as Zane suggests will have to become creative, but I canít see them doing this while still selling physical books alone. Despite the continually increasing number of books published year over year. Physical books days are indeed numbered. Even today, book stores are cafes, meeting places, hangouts, places for social interaction or minimally a place where you are in the presence of other people. This is the future of the book store.

Mocha mentioned the cost associated with selling book in convention centers. I can tell you from experience selling book in an of site location is very labor intensive and risky. Once you figure, transportation costs, labor, postage, taxes, the vig for the credit card company and other expenses on top of having to pay to vend (which can be a expensive) selling is not worth the effort. Unless you are selling hundreds of books at full retail it is hard to make money.

The difficulty of selling book in the physical realm is just one more reason why paper bookís days are numbered. Will they go away completely Ė not in our life time. They still make candles, fountain pens, 35 millimeter film, etc.
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Yvettep
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Posted on Friday, February 01, 2008 - 03:06 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Maybe one day we can download a book from a computer screen and then have the choice to replicate the book at home using a personal fabricator/3-D printer... (http://www.kurzweilai.net/meme/frame.html?main=/articles/art0574.html?)

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Hen81
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Posted on Friday, February 01, 2008 - 10:56 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The issue with electronic books is that the method of new books breaking out is somewhat of a browse and stumble upon method. If everything was electronic the sales volume would plummet unless the entire system was set up to cater to that format and give exposure to new titles.

I think the issue is that books need to go to a medium other than reading written words and become audible. An efficient way to create audio books would allow books to leap into the world of multitasking entertainment. When I can listen to ANY book and drive, work and do other activities at the same time like when I listen to music, then things will change. My ipod with music and a new novel. A book playing on a DVD or Blue Ray disc is what is needed.

There are only a couple of options for this to happen, massive staffs of spoken word performers to create audio books or good software that creates audio as the words are typed.

Books have to transition to a more interactive platform that frees the consumer to make more efficient use of their time.

How about jogging, working or cooking while listening to the lasted hot novel. Audio books are a small part of the market now but mass storage increases on portable audio players would make it possible.

www.DTPollard.com

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