For this assignment, you will need to visit two bookstores and analyze what you find there.
You should visit one store that caters to the mainstream book-buying audience because their merchandise will help give a glimpse of the overall products the major publishing houses are producing these days. The closest such store today would be one of the Barnes and Noble chain stores.
But a second bookstore you should visit for a comparison should be a smaller independent bookstore. This would not be a chain store.
After the visits, write up a comparison of what you found at these stores and the kinds of conclusions they lead you to make about the business of publishing and selling books today.
PART I: (5 POINTS)
Identify the name and location of the bookstores you visited. Also describe the look and ambiance of the stores. Do they have any amenities like a coffee bar, snack bar, chairs and couches that let you sit and read? Do the stores seem to be designed to let you spend time in there and enjoy yourself? Do you think the stores are successful in making the potential buyers feel comfortable and welcome there?
When you are in the large chain store, take a look at the following:
(5 POINTS) What major book categories do they have permanent shelf space for?
(5 POINTS) Of the main categories of books, which ones are represented by more books than other? Thus, what categories have more shelf space than others?
(5 POINTS) Of the nonfiction books you find, which types are in the greatest abundance? Biographies? Business books? Cook books? Self help? Relationship books? Diet books?
(5 POINTS) Of the fiction books the store carries, which genres are represented the most? Mysteries? Science fiction? Horror? Romance?
(5 POINTS) Among fiction books, do you see a large variety of authors or do you see many books by a smaller handful of authors? So, is there a diversity in authors represented on the shelves?
When you are in the smaller, independent bookstore, take a look at the following:
(5 POINTS) Is there one particular genre they seem to specialize in? If so, what? And if not, what are the different categories they sell?
(5 POINTS) Do they have a larger selection of authors represented who are not among the major, A-list bestseller superstars of publishing today? (You should also do a quick online search for who are the authors on the New York Times bestseller list right now and who are considered the major stars of the industry right now, consistently publishing the most profitable bestsellers)
(5 POINTS) Do they sell used books and out of print books as well as the latest new releases?
(5 POINTS) Do they have any regular events like author signings or any other type of interactive group events for patrons?
(5 POINTS) Speak briefly to a manager at the store and ask them why they organized their bookstore as they did? How do they see themselves competing with online sellers and a large chain like Barnes and Noble in todays publishing environment?
PART IV (5 POINTS)
Finally, looking at both bookstores again, discuss the following:
Do the stores also sell their products online? Can you order their books through the internet? Give the URL for the store.
Do the bookstores offer any notable discounts and special deals on their books?
Given what youve seen in these two stores, what conclusions can you draw about the publishing industry? What kinds of books do they seem to be producing the most? What kinds of readers do they seem to be aiming to please? If you were a multi-talented genius of an author especially skilled in writing various categories of fiction and nonfiction what type of book did these stores just convince you to start writing in order to increase your chances for publication?
In a 5 to 7 page paper, address each of these questions in a thorough analysis of the stores you visited. The paper should be double spaced written in a Times Roman 12 point font, with 1-inch margins.
Proofread your paper very thoroughly because you will be penalized for spelling and grammar errors.
The paper is due Sunday night, February 20.
(Please do a research in a bookstore in NY or Jersey City) Thank you!
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