Suggestions for Remaking a Major Bookseller

Lynne Scanlon notes that Borders Group has a new CEO, and she wonders what he could do to make Borders and WaldenBooks more attractive than Barnes & Noble. She has many great suggestions:

  • Make exclusive arrangements with publishers to sell specific books at Borders and Borders only.
  • Create a “new format” book that is sold exclusively at Borders.
  • Co-publish books with Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins and medium- and small-sized publishers. Give preferential shelf placement in lieu of a cash investment.
  • Have a prestigious VIP cash register and pass out discount coupons to the big spenders, say, at the $150 purchase level.
  • Rope off a special VIP room for people who buy books in quantity and make these readers feel important because they are!
  • Have “For Authors Only Socials” where local authors meet local authors in Borders to socialize over a glass of wine or something significantly stronger.
  • Offer to rent computer space in Borders to struggling writers.

There are more and commenters join in. What do you think?

4 thoughts on “Suggestions for Remaking a Major Bookseller”

  1. Free wireless internet access. Does B&N have this? I don’t know because I don’t have a laptop, but Computer Guru SOn does. And I think it would bring in a lot of customers. I think B&N’s big success around here has been from making their store a cross between a coffee shop and a library where one could sit and read, talk, have a cup of coffe, then buy some books.

  2. The local B&N has not-free wireless. That bums me out, because so many other places (coffee shops, the big mall, the public library) throw it into the mix for nothing.

  3. I am a new writer for fun (I teach at Washington University School of Law for a living), and will probably never publish anything other than the book I just self-published, but I ike the internet access idea. However, I write everything long-handed, and think they should also have bigger tables in their coffee shop areas for people like me.

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