How can we help authors amidst Barnes & Noble changes?

CARLE PLACE, NEW YORK - MARCH 20: A general view of the Barnes & Noble Booksellers sign as photographed on March 20, 2020 in Carle Place, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
CARLE PLACE, NEW YORK - MARCH 20: A general view of the Barnes & Noble Booksellers sign as photographed on March 20, 2020 in Carle Place, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

Barnes & Noble is a staple when you’re a reader or just a lover of books. With many online options now, Barnes & Noble is the last of a dying breed.

However, things are changing for the bookish giant. No doubt the store took a massive hit during the pandemic as did most brick-and-mortar stores. Even so, some recent and upcoming changes have book lovers questioning things.

While Book Riot was the first actually to talk about this issue, it’s become even more vast as the days have gone on. In particular, a lot of authors have been extremely vocal about their displeasure and how it will ultimately result in changing the game but not in a good way.

As a book lover, reader, and avid Barnes & Noble shopper, this latest change might be the nail in the coffin for some.

These new changes at Barnes & Noble are scarier than they seem.

While there are multiple changes taking place at Barnes & Noble, the major one is that Barnes & Noble isn’t going to be stocking hardcovers unless it’s best-selling authors. Frankly, it sounds like one of the worst ideas that Barnes & Noble’s ever had but honestly, the effect is much much worse.

Obviously, most people would think of adult books being affected but the major age group taking a hit is middle grade and young adult books. A lot of authors have spoken out about this as they’ve either gone out to find their book and found nothing or their publishers have shared that their books wouldn’t be stocked.

While Barnes & Noble is trying hard to compete with Amazon, this isn’t the way to go. It’s especially sad when you see all of the debut authors whose books won’t end up on the shelves at all. While debut authors will be affected, it’s also going to be a ripple effect on marginalized authors who even have a successful track record with sales.

How can readers help authors affected by Barnes & Noble’s changes?

There are plenty of options and tips and tricks to employ to help your favorite author if they’re a victim of Barnes & Noble’s cherry-picking. The first option is to either buy the book at your local/independent bookstore or ask them to order it. This is a good choice especially if you have a smaller or indie bookstore near you.

However, if you don’t, another option would be to either place an order on Barnes & Noble to ship to your local store or go in-store to ask them if they can place the order for you. In most cases, if you ship to the store, the book ends up shipping free. Additionally, you could decide to just place the order and ship it to your home, too.

If you’re ready to wash your hands of Barnes & Noble completely though, you could either decide to recommend it for purchase at your library or put a hold on it at the library. The library is such an underutilized resource and it legitimately costs you nothing to check out a book and read it before returning it.

If you do end up picking up a book not sitting on Barnes & Noble’s shelves, then it’s good to make sure you go and write a review of it on your platform of choice. No matter which tactic you decide to employ, the key is to make sure you share awareness about the book and encourage others to read it. Hopefully, you’re able to get that book into the hands of those who will enjoy it or find someone who will recommend the book to another who might enjoy it.

Either way, this situation just sucks and it’s frankly upsetting especially for authors. While it might not affect some genres, it’s unfortunate to see books not getting in the hands of those who could love them. It’s especially frustrating for kids who want to see themselves represented within the pages of a book. Hopefully, things will get a bit better but right now, bookselling is especially bleak.

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What do you think of the recent changes at Barnes & Noble? Be sure to share in the comments.