In the U.K., there’s a movement starting: Brits are converting abandoned post-industrial buildings to bookstores!
According to a 2014 post in Atlas Obscura, “By filling empty storefronts with used and antiquarian bookshops, and hosting literary festivals, the goal is to attract new visitors in the form of bibliophiles.”
The trend continues on this side of the pond; indie bookshops are staging a comeback as well, in spite of the rise of online bookselling.
What the Numbers Say:
- Sales at all book shops: up 2.5 percent in 2015
- Sales at independent books shops: up 10 percent in 2015
- Number of independent book shops: up 22 percent since 2009
Source: American Book Sellers Association
What the Numbers Mean to You:
Indie bookstores are more author-friendly than chains. Many will special order books by indie authors and publishers when a customer requests them; some even sport books by local writers right on the shelves. And the neighborhood bookshop may host a reading or signing by an area author.
Traditionally, brick-and-mortar booksellers required big discounts, paid slowly via distributors and wholesalers, and expected the right to return any unsold copies for a full refund — making them disadvantageous outlets for indie authors and publishers. But the landscape of bookselling is changing.
Indie BookStores are Evolving
Just as indie publishing is ascendant in today’s book world, indie booksellers are evolving with innovative ways of attracting new customers, and giving fresh new voices a way to reach more readers.
Director of Indie Publishing Operations, AuthorBytes