I slowed down, turned into the parking lot. I opened the car door and walked up to the front door.
I stared inside at the empty space. There weren’t any bookshelves…just empty space.
It’s been two years since the announcement came that the Borders bookstore chain seeked liquidation and closed its remaining stores. This was another attack on the brick and mortar stores where you could purchase the printed book.
They closed 399 stores which meant that over three-hundred outlets for author’s books was unavailable for authors at the end of the fourth week of July
This was very, very sad news!
This was another casualty in the long drawn-out decline of the paperback and hard cover book formats.
I remember when I was marketing my first novel, A Brownstone in Brooklyn and Philly Style and Philly Profile, the venues for new authors was nil. Today, it is even harder for authors to get book event at major venues.
For years I tried vainly to get book signings in bookstores to prove to the reading public that I was a legitimate author.
I walked into many bookstores and got a resounding “No”!
I went to the Stonecrest Mall Borders in Lithonia, Georgia without much confidence in getting a chance at a book signing.
I met the store manager and told him I was a local author and teacher at a Dekalb County High School. He was very gracious and receptive and loved the
idea of a local teacher getting a chance at a book signing.
He introduced me to the community relations manager and I had my first major bookstore event!
I sold over fifteen copies of A Brownstone in Brooklyn on that Saturday afternoon and gave out tons of marketing material, but mainly this was my first major exposure at a major book event venue.
That was a signature moment, in my career as an author, and lead to me getting speaking opportunities at other major chain outlets and eventually a stint as a presenter at the AJC-Decatur Book Festival, The Virginia Festival of the Book, Buffalo Book Fair, New York City Book Festival and other major book festivals.
Now, I wonder where the road would have taken me if it wasn’t for a manager at a Borders store that gave a new author a chance to showcase his work.
After staring into the empty space, I decided it was time leave. I walked back to my car and closed the door. I continued my journey down 124 and thinking would there be any other Brick and Mortar stores opening soon.
In the meantime, Good Bye Borders you will be missed!!!!