Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Borders Declares Bankruptcy

Today, Borders filed for bankruptcy protection and announced its plan to close about 200 of its 650 stores, countless sources reported ... I personally don't find this surprising. I've heard whispers about the company's financial issues for quite some time now, and I've never been impressed with their behind the times business model. They waited too long to launch and aggressively focus on their online bookstore and the Kobo, their eReader (which is pretty neat), arrived on the scene far too late as well. and Barnes & Noble, Borders' largest competitors, obviously have strong online bookstores and two of the hottest eReaders in the business--the Kindle and Nook. If only Borders had acted sooner. If only.

It saddens me that thousands of hardworking Borders employees will soon be unemployed due to this move. This just goes to show what happens to book-selling businesses that choose to be passive regarding online/digital sales ...

Now ... what does this bankruptcy mean for self-publishing? Honestly, most self-published authors won't see much of a change. The majority of self-published books are sold online (print, eBook, and audiobook formats), and will remain in operation. is still incredibly strong and B&N will benefit from this Borders bankruptcy, so they're not going anywhere ... And who knows--B&N might even buy Borders if they become profitable after closing those 200 stores. Regardless, the publishing industry continues to change, and the only businesses that will stay in the game are the ones that keep a finger on the pulse of technology.


  1. Well said! I couldn't have said it better. Everyone needs to get on the bandwagon and join the many that truly believe that Ebooks are the way to go.

  2. Anonymous6:56 PM

    I find that the way Borders operates, it's more like a Library with a Coffee shop in it, I see hundreds of people in thier stores, yet 99% of them come out with only an empty Latte cup, no books...?

  3. Sharon: eBooks are certainly important, along with the other formats. I definitely suggest offering titles in as many formats as possible, focusing on online sales instead of brick and mortar sales (which will probably continue to fade).

  4. Anon: I've noticed that as well. I think B&N is similar but the biggest difference between them and Borders is they embraced online sales -- for print, eBooks, and audiobooks -- early on.