View Full Version : Has Waterstones Killed Bookselling?

11-10-2009, 05:17 PM
Dare I say it? This article has a stench of snobbishness around it:


The commodity comment is hysterical. Of course books are a commodity, if not then what on earth are they? Yes they are a commodity, and disposable at that.

I am quite astounded that there are people out there who are surprised that genre and literary books are placed next to each other. I don't think we can blame Waterstones for opting for 'names' over untested 'new writing.'

Mr Flibble
11-10-2009, 06:27 PM
Hmm well I can only go by my local branch, but they do push newer writers

Not so sure about mainstream / literary ( I don't hang out there too often) but certainly in the genre areas they'll often have a display of say debut authors, or 'Great writers you haven't heard of' - I've found some great new authors that way.

They've had debut authors as Book of the Month more than once too. And I've not seen Leona's book at all, so it's hiding on the shelves with all the others - I check the bio display every time I'm in there.

Maybe someone's just disgruntled with their local branch...

11-10-2009, 06:40 PM
Every major bookstore I've ever been in has had "new Voices" and such out in the open where people can see who's new and especially who's really standing out in the new.

That being said the article was quite funny. I was laughing quite hard when they got to the commodity bit.

11-10-2009, 06:51 PM
I think the special displays are generally paid for by the publisher. Waterstones has certainly become more regimented and predictable over time. Borders in Norwich is much better, but it's also much larger. Mind you, they can't even get apostrophe use right in their posters and their last great author you've never read was... Vladimir Nabokov.

11-10-2009, 07:05 PM
I am quite astounded that there are people out there who are surprised that genre and literary books are placed next to each other.

I suspect they fear they might interbreed, and it'll be the 1800s all over again. What! Plot and theme? How will they ever keep these things straight?

Yeah, I've always found the 'literary' genre a bit bogus, myself.

And I found
Where some saw commercial good sense in Waterstone's development, the literati just saw philistinism," reckons Jeffries.
deliciously pretentious. Does anybody use "literati" or "philistinism" seriously anymore?

Mr Flibble
11-10-2009, 07:11 PM
I think the special displays are generally paid for by the publisher.

Ah, I was meaning the tables where they display works from more than one publisher, normally with a theme of some sort.


What timing: I've just had an e-mail from Waterstone's

So, my pub is a small US press, and their books would not normally be stocked or be capable of being ordered through their stores ( only on their website)

So, the SFF ladies in my local store asked if I'd like to do a signing, cos they're nice like that. After a bit of a kerfuffle, working out what database I needed to be on, my book is now available to be ordered through their bookstores. \o/

Not only that - I just recieved this e-mail from their head office, with a list of the addresses and contact names of every Waterstones, so I can ask each store if they'd care to stock it. He even told me what to put in the letter and how to word it for max success.

Do Waterstone's promote new authors? Do you know, I rather think they do :D

Gary Clarke
11-10-2009, 08:53 PM
*hi fives idiotsRUs* WOOT!

11-11-2009, 02:47 PM
I boycotted Waterstones for a while. That was when they took over Ottakar's my favourite bookstore in Eastbourne. Ottakar's was lovely. They had a sitting area where you could sit and read and drink coffee, and best of all, they had Al, a lovely bookseller who knew me as an author and often invited me to read or simply be a part of his monthly reading group. I loved it. Then one day -- gone. Only Waterstone's remained. impersonal and sterile.
Finally I caved and do go in there now, but I miss the Ottakar feel and I hate that in it's been replaced by stoopid Games store. Ugh.

Carry on.

11-11-2009, 03:17 PM
They had a titting area

I'm suffering from innuendo overload.

11-11-2009, 03:24 PM
I'm suffering from innuendo overload.

11-11-2009, 05:13 PM
I tried to read the article, but all the grammatical errors kept distracting me (there was even a word missing in the third paragraph).

Color me pretentious. :D

Everybody's killing bookselling and publishing these days, though. No doubt Waterstone's is just jumping on the bandwagon. I'm doing my part by buying books on Amazon and reading ebooks.

So when publishing explodes (implodes?) add me to the blame list. :)

11-11-2009, 06:04 PM
That's brilliant, Idiots.

Go girl go!