There has been a lot in the news lately about independent bookstores plans to co-exist with one another and even prosper in the face of challenges from Amazon. I will be commenting on some of these trends in this and future newsletters. Far too many decry Amazon and mourn the death of indie bookstores, but many stores are finding innovative ways to successfully compete against the behemoth rather than surrendering.
In Chicago the news that Amazon is planning on building its third brick and mortar store in that city was met by a unification of independent bookstores. Twenty-three stores formed an alliance, ChiBA – Chicagoland Independent Bookstore Alliance. Rather than competing against one another and watching weaker indie stories close (as was the case with comic distributors in the face of Diamond in the nineties) these stores are united in helping one another. The alliance has already established a Facebook presence (MyChicagoIndie) “to promote and discuss events at their own and others’ stores.”
Other cities might want to consider forming such an alliance (even if Amazon is not building a store in their area). Independent bookstores working together stand a much better chance of surviving the Amazon onslaught than fighting on their own.
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