Where the industry is, and is going

So the very special BFF relationship between Barnes & Noble and Simon & Schuster is going the way of all very special BFF business relationships when the market changes: Down the toilet.

Business is business, and the bottom line is the bottom line.

Of course, the authors in the story are interpreting this in the way most likely to get them screwed:

Several writers published by Simon & Schuster expressed dismay that their books have been affected by the dispute but said they understood economic forces were involved and didn't blame their publisher or Barnes & Noble.

Jamie Mason, author of the thriller "Three Graves Full," published by Simon & Schuster imprint Gallery Books, said Barnes & Noble was "incredibly supportive" of her book during preproduction and that the chain was instrumental in changing the cover. "It was really cool," she said. But shortly before publication on Feb. 12, she learned that "Three Graves Full" would no longer receive the promotion at Barnes & Noble stores that had been expected. "It's frustrating," she said. "I'm a debut novelist. I don't have name recognition." She said Simon & Schuster has worked to boost sales elsewhere.

That's right, authors--it's your job to be understanding (not to understand) an industry that is failing you, because all these BUSINESS people who are in this to MAKE MONEY are so Gosh-darned nice and supportive.

Remember what your mother told you: It doesn't cost anything to smile. Yeah, sure, your mother wanted you to take something different away from that than I do.

Anyway, the Wall Street Journal also has an article on how publishers of coffee-table books are coping with the changes in the industry, since their books aren't well-suited to the e-book format and bookstore ain't what they used to be.

It isn't all doom and gloom for Quarto [Group, which publishes specialty books,] though. Many of its sales aren't in traditional bookstores but in specialist retailers that mostly sell nonbook items, such as home improvement and arts & crafts stores.

Marcus Leaver, Quarto chief executive, says selling books in nonbook stores can be extended to less obvious areas, adding that having the right books on display can enhance the atmosphere of a store. He cites the fashion chain Urban Outfitters, where you might go in looking for a distressed T-shirt and end up buying a book about body art....

Mr. Leaver, who became CEO in December, says books have a better chance of capturing a buyer's attention in a specialist store than in a general bookstore. In a traditional bookstore, niche titles are vying for attention with thousands of other titles.

Quarto says traditional bookstores now account for just 15% of its overall sales in the U.S. and Canada, though the figure is higher in other markets, such as the U.K.