Thanks to publishers and distributors who sell to them for less than they sell to booksellers, Amazon is rapidly killing brick-and-mortar bookstores, and even other web-based book retailers, from the biggest to the smallest. I've been selling automotive books since 1978, first as a sideline, now as a full-time business. My defenses (American spelling, sorry) against Amazon are:
1) If I can't kill 'em, I'll join 'em, by becoming an Amazon seller and offering out-of-print and used books. Just started this, and so far it's been slow.
2) Sell books they don't have or can't get: high-priced collector books, self-published books, rare and out-of-print books, etc.
3) Provide the best possible customer service, especially advice on what to buy and details of new books, to encourage return customers.
4) Advertise in niche publications. When did you last see an Amazon ad in a Porsche club magazine?
5) Sell at swap meets. When did you last see an Amazon stand at a swap meet?
6) Establish an internet presence among niche groups such as TNF, clubs, and other forums.
7) Uh, well, that's about it, but so far I'm hanging in there.
As I said, this situation is largely the fault of distributors and publishers who sell books to Amazon at unrealistic prices. Thank goodness for the few publishers who have decided to remain loyal to their specialist booksellers and thus can afford to continue to publish truly high-quality books (David Bull, for one).
Toad Hall Motorbooks
Edited by fbarrett, 08 December 2009 - 01:41.