Monday, October 19, 2009

How Low Can You Go?

By now, you've probably heard of the book price war that is happening online... it's now a three-way battle to the bottom, with Target joining the fray today.

The truth is, the price war is really over a very small number of hardback books. These mega-conglomorates are hoping you'll visit their site for a discounted hardback novel & stay to buy a bunch of Chinese-made junk. (No offense to the Chinese.) They aren't including the trade paperbacks that our book clubs love, the Golden Books we all remember, the histories, mysteries, or spiritutal living books that we stock just for you.

So why shop with us, knowing you can get a few books for so much less somewhere else (less than we can even buy the book wholesale from the publisher)? Here's my top 10 of why NOT to fall for the "go low" trick ....

1) When you buy from us, we've actually read some of the books on our shelves (and the for ones we really like, we make sure you know it with our "staff pick" stickers and blurbs).

2) We know that JD Robb is really Nora Roberts, who herself owns a B&B and indie bookstore.

3) We can pronouce Jodi Picoult's name.

4) If you want something to go along with your ultra cheap bestseller, we can make a recommendation suited to you, and not what some computer "bot" thinks you may like based on your previous keyword search.

5) You don't have to walk (physically or virturtally) through the tire and diaper sections to see our books.

6) You can actually pick up the book, and read a few pages to test it out before buying. And you can browse books in all the other sections that interest you.

7) Will they greet your children by name and remember they like Katie Kazoo or have read all the Junie B's?  We will!

8) We don't require you to search by author or title... you can browse any section and find that unexpected book that makes you smile, cry, or laugh out loud.

9) Our customer service is easy to reach... you just call out "Sam" or "Todd" from the main reading room of the store and we're there to help you.

10) When you "buy local", your money stays local. How does your community benefit when you buy from Amazon? How much support do they provide your local library? Do they buy car insurance from a local firm? Do they order their materials from a local printer? Do they offer meeting space for local groups or a train table for your kids in the play room? NOPE, NADA, NOTHING... not one dime or one second of time goes back to the community when you shop the mega-marts online!

So yes, you can save $10 today playing the "how low can you go" game, but did you really save enough to balance out all that your local independent bookstore does for your town/city/county?  It comes down to choices, and sometimes making the choice to spend a few more dollars just feels right! And if you do buy the discount book, don't buy anything else. They are doing this to get you to fill your cart; don't fall for the trap. Get a bag of books you really want at your indie bookstore.


  1. I'm waiting for my check from Amazon. I want them to pay me to read Sarah Palin's new book, and believe me I don't come cheap...

  2. Great post! You forgot one reason -- the wonderful smell of your store. Every book lover knows what I mean!

  3. You've just convinced me I should try to find the book I've been thinking about getting in a local book store instead of ordering it online. I've only been in your store once, but even if it's small it's way better than the big book stores (which generally are totally lacking in character and don't feel at all like creative spaces).

  4. YAY Reboloke! Thanks for shopping Indie... next time you're at Aaron's make sure you let us know who you are... we like to treat our blogging friends like royalty :)