It's been roughly forever since I've posted here.
Okay, less than a month, but still. The original idea behind this blog was to mark my progress towards opening a bookstore. If I'm being completely honest, there really hasn't been all that much. There are classes to be taken and business books to read, but so much hinges on clearing my own personal debt, that it feels like it'll be quite a while before there's real forward motion on opening a bookstore.
That, and right now it's a time of change for the bookselling industry. I'm not quite sure what it's even going to be like opening a store four years from now. MP3s and podcasts are changing the audio market. Products like the Sony Reader and the Kindle are having an impact on good ol' paper and ink books, but just what kind of impact is still uncertain.
I truly believe that the indies can survive this. They simply (ha!) have to figure out how to change with the times. Some of them are only now learning how beneficial it can be to have a store website, and a staff member or three who know what a blog is (and how to write a compelling one.)
It is still about the community. Success will always be based on that - how well do you know your customers? How involved with them are you?
Only, in this digital age (is that what are the kids calling it now?) a store's community is vastly larger than the town in which it's located. Bookstores in Seattle have readers in New York following their recommendations. A mystery store in the most rural town in the midwest can get books out not only to a big city in the U.S., but to just about any country in the world.
So, my saying, "I want to open a bookstore; I think I know how" is no longer true. There are changes coming. This is not entirely a bad thing, but unfortunately, some stores will refuse to move with it, and will fall by the wayside. Others will embrace it, improve upon it, and thrive. I'm going to be watching and waiting these next few years, and see how the successful ones do it.
In the meantime, this blog isn't going away. However, rather than me blathering on about the good ol' days and how we used to sell books uphill in the snow, barefoot both ways, I'll be talking about other things - books I'm reading (after all, I did name this place "Books That Don't Suck," didn't I?), what I'm seeing work for other indies, things like that.
I'd like to get a posting schedule going, most likely twice a week.
Let's go with... Tuesdays and Fridays for now. Tuesdays'll be for ramblings - industry news, whatever's drifting through my brain when I log in to write - and Fridays will be for book reviews.
SO. If you have questions you'd like me to attempt to field, go ahead and ask away. I have one buried in the comments from a couple months back that I never got around to answering (sorry, ElZ!). That'll be my first foray into this. For Fridays, if you have books to recommend, show me what you've got and I'll add it to the Pile O'Stuff. Discussion is always welcome.