Parapublishing has an incredible list of information about the publishing industry that is a must read for everyone interested in the book and writing worlds.
As a patron and fan of the Northshire Bookstore, I am particularly interested in the status of independent booksellers:
“American Booksellers Association (The independent bookstore organization). The chain stores are replacing the independents.
ABA membership was 5,132 in 1991. It fell to 4,047 in 1998.
–Business Week, June 29, 1998.
Since 1993, ABA membership has dropped from 5,100 to 3,500 because the independent stores have been driven out of business.
–Chicago Tribune Magazine, May 31, 1998.
ABA membership declined to 2,800 stores.
–Publishers Weekly, December 2001
2002: 1,900 (a loss of 30% in two years)
–Mitch Kaplan, vice-president American Booksellers Association.
Only 100 stores joined the ABA in 2001 while 250-300 stores closed. Membership is now less than 2,200.
In April 2003, bookstore membership dropped 9% from a year earlier.
Total membership, including industry members and prospective booksellers, dropped 11.4%
Total membership was 2,643
–Publishers Weekly, September 22, 2003.
One small, independent publisher once said that he’d rather deal with the mafia than Borders and Barnes and Noble. Let’s hope the little guys can stay afloat. When was the last time you bought a book at a small, independently owned bookstore?