Bookstore Sales Slow to a Mere Drip … is the Flushing Over?

Think about it … sometimes “bad news” can be good news … as in a blessing in disguise.

good news

Back in 2007, the “good old days,” bookstores were the hot place for an author to be. Over all sales were just shy of 18 billion … that’s BILLION dollars. Things starting going to hell in a hand basket the next year. The economy nose-dived, Borders hadn’t gone belly up (but the buzz was in the air that it was in trouble) and the evolution that Amazon’s Kindle roared in was a mere gleam in the eye.

Sales dropped like crazy, and continued to fall. When Borders officially tossed in the towel and shut its doors, the worst decline hit in 2011. But … this past year, 2013, the plunge has turned to a drip. Overall sales, as measured by bookstore sales dollars, declined by 1.6 percent from a year ago. This is the smallest, as in tiniest, decline in the past five years.

So, just what are bookstore sales? Cumulatively, sales are down 17.2% since In 2008, when over $16 billion came through actual bookstores, the number is now at $13.19 billion as of the end of 2013. No one likes down, but the true questions are:

Are bookstores dead?
Are printed books dead?

And my response is, and always has been … absolutely not.

$13.19 billion is a lot of moola. Books being sold in the brick and mortar arena are not to be ignored. I’m amused when so many. Personally, I’m a huge, huge fan of independent book stores. I love it that the staff knows books and the books in inventory, loves books, and treats the book buyer like royalty. I’m lucky to live in Colorado where we have many independents. A happy day finds me wandering through the aisles of the Tattered Cover surrounded by thousands of books. Bliss–and I confess, there isn’t a bookstore that I walk in that I don’t walk out with a new find (or many) to salivate over.

And another confession, If I have one addiction, it’s books. I’m doing my share!

JB_pic_2013-2 Judith Briles is known as The Book Shepherd a book publishing expert and coach. She is the Founder of Author U ,  a membership organization created for the serious author who wants to be seriously successful. She’s been writing about and conducting workshops on publishing since the 80s. Judith is the author of 31 books including Author YOU: Creating and Building Your Author and Book Platforms, Snappy Sassy Salty: Wise Words for Authors and Writers and a speaker at publishing conferences.

Become part of her inner circle by joining the Author’s Ark and exclusive monthly webinar and coaching event. Her audio and workbook series, Creating Your Book and Author Platform is now available. Join Judith live on Thursdays at 6 p.m. EST for Author U – Your Guide to Book Publishing on the Toginet Network at Follow @AuthorU and @MyBookShepherd on Twitter and do a “Like” at AuthorU and TheBookShepherd on Facebook.  If you want to create a book that has no regrets, contact Judith at