Wednesday, May 08, 2013
S&S TITLES NOT SHELVED AT B&N
I wrote this on my other blog but I thought I'd post it here too. It's something that I think is important to discuss:
Sorry for the silence. I've been traveling quite a bit. But back to business. I've seen some great books that I'd like to share but first I want to briefly talk about the situation with B&N and S&S. This really bothers me. B&N is asking that S&S pay more money to display its titles and it wants a higher discount for S&S books. S&S doesn't want to give in to BN's demands... so... BN has limited its stock on S&S titles in its stores. This, to me, seems like a monopoly. BN doesn't have any competitors any more (not brick and motor stores anyway) and now has decided to make these demands because it can get away with it. Why not? Borders isn't around any more to say, hey: we'll take your books for the standard deal.
I read an article that pitied BN, saying that Amazon was a big competitor so now BN needs to get its money in other ways. I have a different perspective and this is coming from experience. Trust me. BN is making TOO MANY MISTAKES and this is its own fault. Because BN is making these mistakes, publishers shouldn't be punished.
1) Amazon has a far superior search engine. Books are easy to look up. You can misspell things and still find what you're looking for. Go to BN and try to look up something when you get the title slight wrong or you misspell the author's name wrong. Ooops! Nothing comes up. This has been like this for years! BN has had PLENTY of time to hire the right people to fix this. They haven't. Mistake number one.
2) Trying to compete with the likes of Apple. Apple has been around for a good long time and makes amazing products. It's unclear to me as to why BN thought it could come along and produce a product in a few years and think it could compete with that. Loss of market share there.
3) BN has no competitors and sells books yet it instead has decided to focus on toys, soap, dumb gift items, and so on. The one thing BN has that Amazon and other online retailers do not have is BOOKSELLERS. People who are there to recommend great new titles and HANDSELL. But instead of advertising that key element... instead of making sure that the good and knowledgable stick around, they treat the employees like inconsequential elements: people who are there to stock shelves and pick books up off the floor. BN could be a force to recon with if they got the right employees and advertised as such. Heck, they even HAVE some but don't care to use them properly. Example: having a trained opera singer working with the literature books even though she asked to be put with the music. Having a school teacher working with travel books. Huh? The stores aren't run right. It's sad. It could be game over faster than it has to be.
I'm siding with S&S on this one. Sorry BN.
Posted by Meghan McCarthy at 1:15 PM