Book Business Extra Q&A: Meg Zelickson Smith of the American Booksellers Association talks about the impact of a new crop of independent sellers on the book industry.
Extra: How many stores opened up last year?
Smith: We had 97 new store members, and 90 the year before.
Extra: What should book publishers take away from this news?
Smith: I think the publishers and the media, and potential booksellers and entrepreneurs should take away that while it’s a very difficult business—we don’t hide that, there’s not huge margins— there are ways to thrive and survive. We’re here to stay. The old story was that ‘You’ve Got Mail’ model, that there’s a small bookstore put out of business by a chain around the corner. The media has been very reluctant to let go of that scenario, which is why we wanted to spread the word that there are new stores. I think its important for the industry as a whole.