Are we all missing the point?
Galleycat points to an exceptionally interesting post from Editor Jason Pinter[Page has gone awol]. Starbucks have been successfully selling vast quantities of their book choice: Ishmael Beah’s A LONG WAY GONE.
Jason makes what I think is the key point towards the end:
Of course Barnes & Noble sells thousands of books in their stores, while right now Starbucks is only selling one. At the same time, though, it’s very curious to see that Beah seems to be outpacing an author with a bestselling Oprah pedigree, primarily due to the efforts of one store. And that store being considerably more famous for their double venti half calf mocha lattechinos than their success pushing literature.
Obviously there’s a major difference between offering one book for sale and offering thousands. Not everyone who walks into a B&N has to buy THE DOUBLE BIND. You have a huge amount of options. At Starbucks, if you’re going to buy a book, you’re going to buy A LONG WAY GONE. So the answer is, of course, that Starbucks is not as influential on a larger scale than B&N. But it does make you think..
It does make you think. Here are a few things I wondered:
1) What the hell are publishers getting wrong that they need to sell books from coffee-shops?
2) What are booksellers doing wrong if they can lose that kind of trade to coffee-shops (especially if they already have coffee-shops internally)?
3) Who are all these book buyers in Starbucks?
4) Is the Starbucks Book of the month slot for sale?
5) Why are we wondering and worrying about digital when don’t seem to know anything about who buys books right now?
Overall it just makes you wonder if anyone in the industry knows anything? Except for maybe Starbucks!
Waking to the smell of coffee?