Entries in unique products (1)

Tuesday
May012012

The Future of Books - Where Do We Go From Here?

So Borders has shuttered its doors, being the latest and probably most notable casualty in the book wars, as we shift from the outmoded traditions of old to new and uncertain technology-driven norms. Amazon.com is one of the main reasons bookstores are taking the hit, because they are undercutting the competition to a point that is making it hard for brick-n-mortar stores to compete. Even schools are bypassing their normal book ordering channels, electing to click a few buttons on an Amazon webpage rather than do their usual face-to-face deals with local middlemen.

The fact is, bookstores are going the way of the dinosaur, and that means we'll soon be without a place to hold crisp new volumes of our favorite tomes in hand and relish the smell and feel of mint pages. That is truly sad. I'm all for the digital age, believe you me, and 711 Press is embracing the future by releasing each and every title in the current major digital formats in addition to print (though we have eschewed the old offset press/warehousing model, which is wasteful and archaic, not to mention expensive). My fear, though, is that people will start to shy away from books altogether if the war rages on too long or gets out of hand. Right now we're still seeing the book giants battling it out in the literary cosmos and causing major rifts in the book world (I'm looking at you Amazon, B&N, and the big pubs). While there is a struggle to gain the larger sum of market share, these players are taking down smaller bookstores left and right and leaving communities with fewer places to find physical books. Not everyone has migrated to the web as concerns book purchases.

The fact is, rather than hold on to outdated business models, which is the primary cause of the money hemorrhaging big publishers are facing, they need to come up with cheaper, better ways to compete. At the end of the day, we don't want to turn people off when it comes to books, particularly the fiction variety, we want to keep folks reading at all cost. And that, my friends, is the primary aim of 711 Press, the reason for which we launched headfirst into this business to begin with. I've always said that a business, any business, particularly a new startup, should not try to emulate point for point what a competitor has done or is doing, else why compete. If you don't have something to offer in a unique way you won't stand out from the rest of the pack. Many a company have faded in the background for being run-of-the-mil.

711 Press is a publisher, yes, but there are many thousands of those in existence. We figured we had to offer something unique in order to stand out somewhat. While books are nothing new, we felt we had to present them in a new and unique way that would appeal to a wide variety of readers. And I believe we have succeeded in doing just that. While the big boys are fending one another off and trying everything they can to best the other guy, we're dead set on producing unique, quality fiction with a focus on keeping our readers entertained.

So far the future is looking bright.