Saturday, 23 February 2013

Hugh Grant, Julia Roberts, Kate Winslet, Jim Carrey and THE INDIE AUTHOR save the bookstore.

Everybody buys their books at Amazon. Borders has gone. Everybody else has gone. Barnes and Noble is fading away.

Are we looking at a world where there's no such thing - beyond college campuses, airports, and places like the wonderful STRAND BOOKSTORE - as a bookshop? I hope not. But at the same time, I owe such a lot to Amazon. They allowed me to publish my stories, find readers, and make more money doing it than if I'd ever gone through a traditional publisher.

As marvellous as it is, though, Amazon is missing something. There will never be a movie scene, like this, shot in an Amazon warehouse.

This is one half of my marvellous, bookstore-saving hypothesis. The other is me.

Or rather, those like me. The Indy Author, publishing on Amazon. A phenomenon that can take pride in being scorned less and less (we're not very full of ourselves). I don't know what the latest stats are, but we sell more and more books every year, and there are more of us, and whatever we do sell, we keep far more of the income than our traditionally published colleagues.

The one thing that we don't have is books on shelves. We don't have book signings, or chances to meet readers (and many of us have tens of thousands) in the flesh. But bookstores can give us that, and in exchange, I think some Indie Authors might be very nice to the traditional bookstores that also sell eBooks. Especially, of course, if the bookstores were run by Hugh Grant, or Kate Winslet.

If they can offer Indie Authors shelf space, or meet-the-reader evenings, book signings, or physical publicity, who knows what Indie authors might give up in exchange. It's the hint of a beginning of an idea. What do you think?

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