Books Without Borders

The demise of Borders, though widely expected, is sending shockwaves through the publishing industry that authors will undoubtedly be feeling in their wallets, as the Wall Street Journal reports.

When you lose literally miles of bookshelves, it's going to have an impact," said David Young, chief executive ofLagardère SCA's Hachette Book Group, which Borders owed $36.9 million at the time of its bankruptcy filing. "I hope other retailers will now step up and make offers for what they consider to be the prime sites," Mr. Young said. "It's a tragedy Borders didn't make it through."

The loss of Borders may also make it more difficult for new writers to be discovered. "The liquidation of Borders is an irreplaceable loss of a big part of the book-discovery ecosystem," said Michael Norris, a senior analyst at Simba Information, a unit of "Thousands of people whose job consisted of talking up and selling books will eventually being doing something else, and that's bad for authors, agents, and everyone associated with the value chain in books."

Hardcover and paperback book sales are bound to take a huge hit…and publishers are going to pass on the pain by offering lower advances. This is bound to drive more authors, particularly those in the ever-widening mid-list, to self-publishing. It will also have, oddly enough, a negative impact on at least one e-reading platform — the Kobo, which was Borders' answer to the Kindle and Nook (though the Kobo remains the device of choice for Canada's Chapters chain of book superstores).

The liquidation of the 400 remaining Borders stores could start as early as Friday.

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