The digital revolution has revolutionized the retail industry, but there’s one aspect that’s yet to catch up with the changes: the books.
For years, bookstores were largely a business unto themselves.
Most used paper stock, and some had no physical inventory.
But in recent years, there has been an explosion of digital books, which make up about 40% of all book sales.
While digital books have grown in popularity over the last decade, they haven’t yet reached the same level of volume as traditional books.
Now, there’s a new, more lucrative opportunity: the book itself.
But first, let’s get back to basics.
When the first electronic book came out, the first bookseller to accept the technology was Borders, which in 1990 had 1,800 bookstores across the country.
Today, there are nearly 30,000.
Most are family-owned businesses.
For a typical bookstore, the books sold are often one to two titles a month, and the bulk of the books are fiction, poetry, children’s, childrens’ and teen books.
Most of the time, the business model is the same: a bookseller buys a few books, and then sells them for a profit, or, if the book is a children’s book, sells them as a discount.
Most bookstores don’t have an e-book store.
Most have online booksellers or online distribution services, which allow books to be sold in one place.
But there are some exceptions.
The bookstore chain Borders has an ebook store, and has been trying to sell the book to more and more customers.
The online service Amazon has been offering ebooks, and its bookstores are selling more and bigger volumes than their paper counterparts.
And Amazon has its own e-reader, called Kindle, which lets customers read books online without purchasing a physical book.
There are even plans to introduce a Kindle app for phones, tablets and computers.
“We’re very excited about it, because we’ve been talking about it for years,” said Mark H. Roesch, president and chief executive officer of Borders, in an interview with Business Insider.
“When you look at the amount of e-books being sold, it’s very significant.”
Borders opened its first e-retail outlet in 1992.
Today it has more than 200 locations, including a handful in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.
At its busiest, Borders carries more than $600 million in digital sales every month, according to the company.
The company has also become more flexible with its business model.
It is one of the first retailers to offer an online-only book sale, in 2011, and also offers a discount to customers who sign up for a trial of its e-reading service.
But the business hasn’t quite hit the same stride yet as its physical counterparts.
“It is very hard to get people to actually buy books online,” said Joe Saks, the CEO of ecommerce platform Booklover, which helps bookstores sell e-readers.
“There’s a lot of stigma around it.”
In 2015, the New York Times said that Amazon’s Kindle service was “like the next-biggest online competitor” to Barnes & Noble’s e-commerce business.
But Saks said that bookstores like Borders aren’t going to be competing with Amazon’s business model, and that it will be Amazon’s customer base that ultimately wins.
“This is not going to change anything in the bookstore business,” he said.
“Amazon is going to continue to have a monopoly.
There’s going to still be the paper bookstore, and Borders will continue to be the biggest bookstore.
They’re not going anywhere.”
Saks says the bookseller business will continue as it always has.
“The bookstore business will still be as strong as it has been,” he told Business Insider in an e, mail interview.
But for many people who aren’t bookstores themselves, it may be harder to get books through an estore.
And with the e-publishing industry growing, it is becoming increasingly difficult to make books available for people to purchase on their computers and smartphones.
In 2014, Barnes & Nobles, the world’s biggest bookstore chain, said it was shutting down its ebook and Kindle publishing service.
In an interview, Simon & Schuster, the biggest independent publisher, said its publishing business was in “tatters” and that “our book distribution is going nowhere.”
Even with the rise of ebooks in recent decades, the traditional bookstore is not doing well.
In the United States, the number of bookstores has been shrinking since the 1990s, and more than 80% of booksellors don’t even have a physical store.
But as technology has changed, the bookstores that used to be considered the center of bookselling are changing too.
In a recent study by the nonprofit Center for the Study of the Book, more than 50% of the bookselling companies that have survived to the present have gone online,