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Indie Bookstores

SURVIVING AND THRIVING IN A DIGITAL AGE

Local authors have used McNally’s Espresso Book Machine to print anywhere from one to 400 copies of their book in-store. Customers can also print one of approximately seven million titles available in the public domain in approximately eight minutes. This also includes rare and out-of-print books. The final product is a perfect bound paperback book with black and white interior pages and a full-colour cover. The EBM can print books with anywhere from 40 to 800 pages, ranging in size from 4.5 x 5 inches to 8 x 10.5 inches.

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Text by Yoko Chapman & Daniel Billinkoff

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their world and worthy of their attention. This has something to do with culture and something to do with community, but it’s definitely a case of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts. We take great pride in being a part of our customer’s real world.” Here are some of the successful strategies that McNally and other progressive bookstores have implemented. CARRY MORE DIVERSE PRODUCTS

Although McNally still carries a wide range of books, they have dedicated a great deal of their prime real estate to other products and services that will bring people into the store. They now sell toys, giftware, clothing, jewellery, stationery, office accessories, music and e-books to name just a few.

CARRY MORE SPECIFIC PRODUCTS

One way to build a devoted following is to carry extremely specific, targeted products. For a bookstore, that may mean stocking local books or ones that are hard to find, out of print, not available online or targeted to special interest groups. BUILD AND NURTURE COMMUNITY

One way that brick and mortar stores can compete with online juggernauts is to create a comfortable social environment buzzing with activity – a community. McNally’s Prairie Ink restaurant and coffee shop is a popular place to relax with friends, hold business lunches, watch and listen to an author speak or even take in some live music. McNally has always had a dedicated following, they’ve simply built a better place for them to come together.

Photo: Erin Alexander Photography

-books, digital publications, mobile devices and the Internet in general have changed the way we read books and access information. As the publishing industry continues to shift away from print to a digital distribution model, independent bookstores have been forced to evolve in order to stay afloat. Winnipeg’s largest indie bookstore, McNally Robinson Booksellers, is a great example of how a local business can evolve and diversify to hold its own against changing technology and a growing online marketplace. When asked why McNally is much more than just a bookstore to customers, owner Chris Hall said: “Somehow the bookstore has managed to become a place that people feel is an important part of

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Ayoko Magazine Vol. 3  

Print media continues to be an important tool for business, and Ayoko Magazine’s format, style and content, illustrates how our business too...

Ayoko Magazine Vol. 3  

Print media continues to be an important tool for business, and Ayoko Magazine’s format, style and content, illustrates how our business too...

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