Yesterday (August 8) was National Bookshop Day here in Australia. Long live the books! And I am not ashamed to say this -- while I am mainly in the ebook publishing business, I have always loved books and supported independent authors and bookstores!
I saw this post on National Bookshop Day's Facebook page: "World's biggest selling author James Patterson showers gifts on Australian bookstores". In particular, this sentence grabbed my attention:
"Like Margaret Atwood, Ali Smith and Neil Gaiman, Patterson has been one of the loudest voices in the book world warning about the pressure of online discounting and ebook retailing on the local bookstore."
It may sound patronizing, but I totally agree with this. Whenever there is a chance, I always purchase print books either directly from publishers or from local and/or independent bookstores.
However, I would also argue that such "pressure" mainly exists for traditional publishers and commercial distributers who supply to big-brand bookstores. For these publishers and bookstores, whose books are generally well-known and expensive bestsellers, online discounts and ebooks have indeed taken away those readers who cannot afford too many print books.
Meanwhile, for local and independent bookstores that have long been an essential part of their communities, the faithful support they receive from community members does not and will not be threatened by online discounts and ebook retelling. In fact, many of Australia's local and independent bookstores not only have thrived but continue to prosper in this new age of ebook publishing and online retailing.
Most importantly, ebook publishing enables numerous new authors to expose their writings and enter the book market. Among them, many have advanced to print books either with traditional publishers or via self-publishing. Ultimately, it is local and independent bookstores -- their own communities -- on which they are based and from which they seek support. And it is these local and independent bookstores that generously provide such faithful support.
So, let us celebrate National Bookshop Day in your community! When is the last time you purchased a book from your local friendly bookstore?
Image thanks to: Book Week Scotland, "A five-step plan for the weekend. Happy reading out there!" Retrieved from National Bookshop Day's Facebook page.