Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Bookstores Bouncing Back?

Book stores are dying! That's been the word online for ages. Yet I recently saw an article stating small bookstores are making a comeback. Colorado has quite a few, with the most well known being Tattered Cover in Denver.

My children's school did a fundraiser recently via Barnes & Noble. They got a percentage of sales from everyone who mentioned the fundraiser at the sales desk. The store was full, with long lines for purchase, which is often true when I go there. Given, I'm going there far less recently, out of frustration for the long missing horror section. A few years ago they had one. Now there are some horror authors mixed into other sections, such as literature, mystery, and fantasy, but there are many major horror authors whose books are nowhere to be found. I can no longer get the "Best of" anthologies I seek out each year, which has driven me to Amazon for those purchases. It also makes it a lot harder for me to browse and find new horror authors I may not be familiar with, which also means I'm missing out on seeing new horror.

In other words, the biggest brick and mortar store around has lost my business, for the most part. In a time when horror is selling like gangbusters, they aren't selling it. I don't understand the business decision, but at least they have plenty of room for non-book items now...

But back to the smaller bookstores. I'm loving the news that they're coming back. Is it frustration with Amazon? I know a lot of authors are trying to spend their money elsewhere due to issues with the company, but what about readers? Are the bookstores making a comeback ones that have cafes or other extras to pull people in, or are they just good old-fashioned bookstores? I'm curious to hear if small bookstores have opened in your area, and what they're like.

The ones I know of in Colorado Springs sell a combination of used and new books. One of those is really good about hosting authors for book signings. And when I go to Estes Park, they've got a small bookstore that sells all new books, and doesn't focus on non-book items at all. 

Or could it be the same mentality that's driving people to move mom and pop restaurants. Big chain restaurants are giving way to smaller, more diverse restaurants. Perhaps it's an overall desire to return to simpler things instead of giant monopolies.

Now for some links. Bear in mind I'm not endorsing these, merely passing them along. Always do your own due diligence before submitting. (It's a short one today).

Accepting Submissions:

Helios Quarterly Magazine is seeking fiction, poetry, and nonfiction. Up to 1500 words. Pays $.02/word. Deadline January 15.

18th Wall Productions is seeking stories expanding upon Wells' The War of the Worlds for their anthology War of the Worlds: Absolute War. 4000 to 20,000 words. Pays in quarterly royalties. Deadline January 20.

Nonbinary Review is seeking poetry, fiction, and essays inspired by Clive Barker's Books of Blood. Up to 5000 words. Pays $.01/word. Deadline January 23. 

What do you think? Have you visited a bookstore in person recently? Where do you buy most of your books? What's behind the changes? Any of these links of interest?

May you find your Muse.

*Buchladen Buecher, Wikimedia Commons, Kintaiyo, 11 April 2006
*Eslite Bookstore in Taichung Chung-yo Department Store, Wikimedia Commons, Essolo, 11 December 2006


  1. There aren't as many big stores left either. Small stores are filling the void and probably give far better customer service.

  2. They're always claiming this or that is dying, but I think it's mostly over blown. Maybe things aren't doing as well as they used to be, but that doesn't get as many clicks. ;)

  3. Our big-name bookstore seems to have plenty of customers, but I noticed the toy section was EMPTY of shoppers the last two times I was there. I miss the horror section, too!

    Our popular small book store is doing fine. It's a nice shopping experience there, lots of local author meet-n-greets, kid-friendly areas, yes a coffee bar, and a super used book section.

  4. Those small stores who managed to hang on are seeing a boon right now. Most of the ones here in NC do sell other things or have a coffee shop. I think people like the intimacy and personality of an independent store. There's now over 2300 independent stores in America, more than twice the number of chain stores.

  5. I love smaller mom & pop shops, especially bookstores. In our area, one has a few extra items like puzzles and games. The one down town is a used bookstore with a few current titles, especially of MN authors. They also sell extras like handmade jewelry. I prefer shopping local. I was thrilled at the turnout in my town for Small Business Saturday. I could barely get into one of my favorite shops!

  6. Smaller bookstores tend to offer things the bigger ones don't but, mostly, they are offering things you can't get online at all. Smaller stores are doing a -bit- better, but it's still unclear how it's all going to shake out in the end.

  7. Gotta love those local bookstores:) I'm big on libraries too!