View Full Version : Borders Unveils First Concept Store

Gigi Sahi
02-18-2008, 02:01 AM
(Hope I'm posting this in the right place). Borders and Lulu have teamed up for on-site self-publishing. What I'm wondering is: Now that Borders (major bookstore chain with coveted shelf space, as we all know) has gone in this direction, what's to prevent them from stocking PoD books? In my view, it would seem counterintuitive for Borders to say we don't (or rarely) stock PoD titles, but you can self-pub a PoD book right here in our store. Or, staff will direct you to their PoD kiosk and you can print the book you want while you continue browsing. I'm interested in seeing how this will play out, and what ramifications it wil have on publishing, particularly self-publishing, if any.


02-18-2008, 03:27 AM
I don't really see a connection between the two ideas. You can't print a physical book there of any kind as far as I can tell, so the same economic barriers to shelving POD apply. I also don't know why a person would sit in Borders to self publish and download when they can do it at home? They are waving the future possibility of stocking a few select Lulu books around. I bet it will never be more than a handful for the purposes of mutual marketing....

Gigi Sahi
02-21-2008, 05:36 PM
Thx, Veinglory, for your reply. Sorry it took so long for me to respond; life gets in the way. Your response gave me some food for thought, and helped put things in better perspective. :)

02-21-2008, 08:05 PM
. . .Borders and Lulu have teamed up for on-site self-publishing. . . .

Interesting article. The self-publishing aspect seems to be a very small part of the overall new-concept stores.

The real impediment, in my opinion, to would-be self-publishers in the setting would be that it is unlikely that any of them would have a clue about how to design a decent-looking book. And probably those drawn into that setting to try are also amateur writers anyway. Those with more experience and a more professional orientation will use other means, in my opinion. The beneficiary might be Lulu: new source of customers and new PR channel.

We shall see.

BTW, Borders is apparently on a major crusade to reinvent itself. In the Sacramento area, it is experimenting with in-store classes taught by local experts (or those deemed to have some expertise). This is the first month of the program (a pilot test of the concept in a metro area well suited to such testing), arranged by a PR firm in cooperation with Borders, and it will be extended at least until March, and apparently beyond. The question may end up being how many of the teachers will continue, as they are not paid for their time and they have to do most of their own promotion. I'll not continue beyond this month (four one-hour presentations, one per week). My presentations have been fun and well received, although the PR firm screwed up my class title and description and fabricated a background for me, which I have to correct when I start. They generate no paying business and take too much of a chunk out of the day to let me continue. Don't know how others are doing or whether others will take their places.

The "Borders Classes" and concept stores are straws in the wind. Times are changing for the book business. I think Borders is scrambling to find ways to thrive.