Interesting article. Independent bookstores have been taking a beating for decades, first from chains like Barnes & Noble and Borders, then from Internet overlord Amazon.com, and now the rise of ebooks.
Indies battle Amazon — by becoming publishers
As publishers, indies enjoy a few distinct advantages over the competition. First, they can emphasize titles of local interest by local writers. Second, they can showcase the books in their shops. Third, because of advances in printing, they can bring books to market more quickly than traditional publishers. Just as important, when an independent bookstore sells a copy of one of their own titles, they collect all the profits, rather than a sliver. Consider it a poor man’s version of vertical integration.
Kaplan told me he hoped other bookstores would take up small-scale publishing. That’s already happening.