Welcome to the new home of Author & Professional Speaker, L. Diane Wolfe (AKA "Spunk on a Stick") and The Circle of Friends!

The Circle of Friends series follows a group of young adults as they face different challenges and learn to overcome. The emotionally gripping stories focus on love, friendships and the pursuit of dreams. Aimed at adults/young adults, these books defy the growing trend of salacious titles, especially for teenagers. Positive and uplifting, this series will leave readers determined to overcome their obstacles and achieve their goals.

This blog is now the home of the original The Circle of Friends website.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

End of the Bookstore - and Author Signings?

Everyone has heard of Borders filing for bankruptcy and closing stores. (For a full listing of stores closing, go HERE ) And that Barnes and Noble is on the market for sale.

But bookstores have been on the decline for several years now. In less than ten years, Waldenbooks went from 700 to barely 100 stores. B. Dalton is gone now. Over half of the independent stores have closed. And it's not just eBooks killing the stores, it's the availability and price of physical books online. It's also the economy.

I don't believe all of the stores will vanish. Those that specialize or diversify will survive, such as an independent store that also offers gifts and coffee. Powell's, which specializes in used books, will survive.

But I also see the days of author appearances and signings dwindling. Fewer bookstores means fewer opportunities. (Although there's always libraries and book festivals.) My favorite was always Waldenbooks, as they usually boasted awesome, book-loving employees and busy stores. But those will soon be gone.

And in seven years of doing signings, I've watched a decline in interest. When I began, there were less than 200,00 books published that year. 2010 saw a million books published. Authors are plentiful and meeting one is no longer a rare occurance. It's lost its appeal.

Where do you see the bookstores and author appearances headed?