In an age where technology is moving at break-neck speed to give us new and better products, I am heartened to see that BAM is continuing to maintain an edge in a very volatile business market. The single most important point is content. If the content is of a high-caliber, than the sales will be there for revenue captures.
The Book Kahuna is all about getting content into the hands of those consumers that want to purchase. Having a Kindle myself, I love the portability of the device and the amount of content you can carry. That being said, there is nothing that beats a lazy Sunday afternoon browsing through your favorite section of The Tattered Cover bookstore or Barnes and Noble. This is a point that Oren Teicher, CEO of the American Independent Booksellers Association, made to me when I interviewed him for my paper on Independent Bookstores, and he reiterated it in his presentation at the PubWest Conference in Keystone, CO last month. The Brick and Mortar experience cannot be duplicated by mouse clicks and that is why bookstores have seen a diminution of sales but continue to have viability as an outlet for purchases.
The bookstores have become staging areas for other activities within the community. Concerts, movie nights, storytelling times for children as well as meeting areas for groups and clubs have given bookstores a new life. As the electronic age continues, enterprising bookstore owners will initiate new and different ways to maintain their community focus. It will be an interesting process to watch over the next 5-10 years as the transitions evolve and continue. All I know at this point is that the ultimate winner will be the customer who wants to make a purchase.