Bookstores, the industry and shooting yourself in the foot.

Verily friends, enemies…frenemies, general haters and book family of the world…lets talk. *danger will robinson! danger!  I’ve been distracted all over the place lately and it’s late and past my bedtime so if I wander…bear with me.*    I have in the last ohhh..10 minus give or take,  been made aware of a possible campaign. A campaign to get bookstores to not carry certain authors…because well….they aren’t part of the right think crowd, don’t agree with what the right think crowd espouses and just generally refuses to kiss their ass. In point of fact said authors and their fans such as myself… go out of our way to disabuse said right thinkers of their notions.

I will point out the fatal flaw in their strategy if someone is in fact engaged in this.  It turns out that on Jim C. Hines blog…quite a few of his top posts were puppy related. he posted a round up here.  I’ll point something out to Mr Hines…dude! Why so seriously sad man?  You got a boost in traffic! Also one assumes an assload of arguments in the comments. What is an ass load anyway? Is it a metric of how much the fat in your average sized ass cheeks weighs, that is then used a unit of measure for weight?  For that matter what is the metric for a fuck ton? Is it more than a standard ton? How much more?  Eh I digress…sorry. *you were warned.*   Anyway.. forsooth man you got traffic and ping back galore for the puppy related posts. Also one guesses…you might have netted some new readers out of it;  both of the blog and your books.  Well we know you got a spike in your blog readership. Only you can tell us if there was a corresponding up tick or spike in your book sales.

Back to the topic at hand.  There’s a post over on  File 770  a comment was made. In the interests of saving ya’ll time of scrolling through the commentary to find it. here it is…with the random other stuff from the comment snipped out.

Responding at random…
I’ve talked to a couple of book store owners in Toronto and someone is sending out Jim Hines roundup of the SP/RP affair. As a result, they are stopping making orders for Correia, Wright, Torgersen, Williamson and others of the worst broadcasters who have supported homophobic statements. I would assume the originator is part of Toronto’s gay community (which was oddly intertwined for years when Baka Books and the GLAAD bookstore were next door). It’s only the independents that I’ve heard so far, but if it hits Book City or Indigo, that could be a big repercussion.
I wonder if Dex has given thought to the rebound on this.  I’ll grant you this in in toronto so it doesn’t matter to me personally since I’m in the good ol U.S. of A.   This campaign, if it exists? This is a good way to kill brick and mortar bookstores for my money.  Or at the very least hurt their bottom line. Why? Because if you piss off enough of your customers by refusing to carry what they want…they go elsewhere and your company coffers start to shrink.  I find it laughable that Dex thinks any of these aforementioned authors are Homophobic. I also find the idea of said campaign laughable.  I wonder if Dex has read any of them.  I wonder if Dex read any of them if Dex read past the first chapters?  One tends to doubt it.   Or mayhap they are homophobic because they don’t right think. They say what they mean, pull no punches, can call bullshit, bullshit.   See this killing bookstores thing has happened before.  Mostly it tends to be competition just slaughtering the competition. Either because one is closer to more customers, or has through word of mouth been told to have more friendly, actually helpful staff…etc etc.  I was in the book industry on the retail side of it so I’ve witnessed this shit first hand.  This however is character assassination..Let me tell you a tale quick like. Back in ancient times…up through ohhh the late 90’s  There used to be a host of smaller bookstores. 2 chains in particular. B Dalton and Waldenbooks. Now, I’m  not too sure what happened on the B. Dalton side but I witnessed the Waldenbooks destruction from within. See Walden used to be owned by a corporation named…Kmart. Perhaps you’ve heard of them  They for reasons of money problems iirc; sold out their wholly owned subsidiary..Waldenbooks to an up and coming and popular big box bookstore chain called…Borders.  Anyone ever shopped there?  I had a love hate relation ship with Borders.  AFter I left Walden after they took over and they closed them all..I still shopped at borders because I knew the staff at couple of the stores . [fellow former walden employees at one, and one was literally 5 damn minutes from my door]  After Borders took over they went about the systematic destruction of the making bad changes that don’t work well with smaller format stores.In this case this ‘campaign’, if it exists is going after a set of authors the campaigner either has been told is baaad…or doesn’t like politically. Because as aforementioned they don’t ‘right think’ As a consequence they’re going after a large group of readers….who will…just go elsewhere.   Amazon mostly.  Which is where I get the bulk of my stuff now, anyway because with space constraints I buy mostly Ebook nowadays.  Seeing as  how this campaign is limited at the moment to small bookstores in Toronto…and I’m not sure how much of the aforementioned authors fans are in that area…might not matter a hill of beans to the stores involved. I don’t know. I know if this spreads…and gains popularity? It could blow up in the campaigner’s face, backfire.  Hell it could possibly destroy what’s left of chain bookstores if it goes way big. Walden and B Dalton gone for a long time. Borders gone for years…and the last of the big boys still standing B&N, closing store after store, year after year.   Though in the main that last one is due to the rise of ebook and e reader popularity.  I don’t see book stores cutting their own throats this way though…not if they wanna stay in business.  OTOH bookstores and publishers alike can do stupid shit like anyone else so..*shrug* we’ll see.

At any rate…the campaigner Dex speaks of should be careful of the law of unintended consequences.  This campaign could very well bite them in the ass.


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