Tag Archives: university

Plight of Independent Bookstores

Here is a great article outlining the landscape of bookstores around Northwestern University. No punches were pulled and nothing is overly romanticized. Evanston, being a college town, seems to be a microcosm of all the trends we’re seeing nationally.

At any given time you are probably only one mouse-click away from someone online bemoaning the downward spiral that independant bookstores are caught in. It seems that most of them simply want to vent the romanticism of small local book shops. Which I get. Perusing local bookshops makes me about as happy as I can be. But there are realities and the change that goes with those realities.

Amazon couponAnd the reality is, that there was an ad for an Amazon coupon flashing on the website as I was reading this article featuring quotes and interviews with local booksellers. So even when they are in the spotlight, Amazon is blinking in the sidebar.

So I hope more people will take time to simply say “here is the current situation” and then start developing ways to help local shops maintain their rightful place as local anchors. And I do wish I can visit Carlson’s Bookman’s Alley someday.

Twitterati Literati

yale logoI just started following Yale Univeristy Press on Twitter. Are there other cool publishers that I’m missing? Please pass along if you know of any.

It’s interesting to follow publishers as they move into new areas. It seems most are hesitant to explore things like Facebook, Twitter, Plurk, etc. So I’m glad to see some trying it out and doing a good job at it. And by good job, I mean sending stuff out other than “get 20% off book x this week”.

Press releases are ok, but if I’m following a publishers feed or engaging them via social media it’s because I’m interested in them on a topical level. So far Yale University Press‘ feed is doing that.