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Art & Inspiration If Print is Dead, is it the same for Books?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Spooky, Jan 22, 2020.

  1. Spooky
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 1,740


    Say everyone-
    With all of the stories about falling subscriptions, the killing off of magazine titles, death of local newspapers, etc, etc, etc, are books failing as well?
    I have wanted to put together an actual book with a collection of my short stories and also include photos I have taken over the years in wrecking yards. It seemed to me like a great idea that could garner my way into doing actual writing as a full time job, not just a hobby.
    But if print is passe', then--?
    Thanks everyone-
    jimgoetz and Ron Funkhouser like this.
  2. glrbird
    Joined: Dec 20, 2010
    Posts: 466


    Have you been to Barnes & Noble, book are doing fine, some are electronic, but your book could fit in that category.
    loudbang likes this.
  3. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 45,182


    I still read a few books, but my wife only reads them on her kindle.
  4. spooky, sign me up for a book.
    Spooky likes this.
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  5. atomickustom
    Joined: Aug 30, 2005
    Posts: 3,295


    Book publishers have been dying for 20 years. I had the good luck to write a college textbook just before the total collapse AND the bad luck to propose another a few years later - accepted three times, never published. Every time I called or emailed the person I had been dealing with was no longer employed there.

    But Amazon has made it possible to self-publish and that makes it possible to get book ideas out there and make a little money at it. I know a couple people who do that and they are happy with it.
    loudbang and Spooky like this.
  6. b-body-bob
    Joined: Apr 23, 2011
    Posts: 403


    I just boxed up and hauled off two full cabinets of books, I just can't see good enough to read them. I was given a Kindle a couple of years ago and that's the only way I read now. I know other people who are in the same boat. So if your question is limited to printed books, then I'd say yeah, they might be on the way out, but if you expand it to include digital access, then I'd say no way, books are here to stay.
  7. Rootie Kazoootie
    Joined: Nov 27, 2006
    Posts: 8,017

    Rootie Kazoootie
    from Colorado

    Every March I go to see my sister in N.M. and we then go over to Tucson for the Tucson Festival of Books at the University. Wall to wall people, lines of people snaking around the buildings going to see their favorite authors and tons of book vendors. Trust me, books are a way looong way from being dead.
  8. Jimbo17
    Joined: Aug 19, 2008
    Posts: 3,664


    When I fly anywhere I always find it funny when they announce that all electronics must be turned during take off and landing how many people are steering at me as I am reading my old book.
    They all have those Kindles for reading their books online.

    I also get people steering at me during the flight when the flight attendants come around and asks if you would like a bag of peanuts or crackers and I say no thanks and then take out my foot long Italian Sub and sit there and it!

  9. BJR
    Joined: Mar 11, 2005
    Posts: 6,231


    What is the average age of the people in the line you speak of?
  10. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 24,593

    Jalopy Joker

    magazines still out there (Nor-Cal /not mine) 20200122_162323.jpg
  11. 5window
    Joined: Jan 29, 2005
    Posts: 7,158


    There is a huge used book sale in State College,PA every Mother's Day with over 100000 books, big lines and people of all ages. Harry Potter did a lot to get a whole generation of kids to read. Curiously, it was turned down by 12 publishers before someone took a chance. I figure a few book editors (12) are still looking for a job.
    Barn Hunter likes this.
  12. Rootie Kazoootie
    Joined: Nov 27, 2006
    Posts: 8,017

    Rootie Kazoootie
    from Colorado

    If I had to guess I'd say in their 50s.
  13. My son wants a new book every other day and all his friends have books on their lists for Birthdays as well.
    Barn Hunter likes this.
  14. 41 GMC K-18
    Joined: Jun 27, 2019
    Posts: 847

    41 GMC K-18

    A few days ago, the last Barnes and Noble book store closed its doors here in Seattle. Also the very cool long time operation of the " read all about it " news stand/magazine/newspaper rack at the pike place market, which had over 2000 titles, after decades of operation, ceased operation at the end of December!
  15. manyolcars
    Joined: Mar 30, 2001
    Posts: 8,226


    most used bookstores went out of business
  16. Places like Barnes & Noble and Borders Books were some of the most expensive place I knew of to buy a book which probably hasn't helped them. I generally buy new or used books from Amazon and I read actual books. No interest in holding a tablet to do so. If my eyes get bad I'll get glasses. A book is a book and its physical presence is part of it. Also, what's already printed in a book is not subject to the whims or hurt feelings of popular society unlike online content. Also there are many ways now for authors to get published as opposed to being at the mercy of a large publishing house as in days past. Some people may read on a tablet but no, I don't think books are going away.
    lake_harley, loudbang and Barn Hunter like this.
  17. partsdawg
    Joined: Feb 12, 2006
    Posts: 2,613

    from Minnesota

    Books are far from dead
    Spooky, loudbang, Barn Hunter and 2 others like this.
  18. Spex84
    Joined: Mar 12, 2015
    Posts: 152

    from Canada

    Books aren't dead. At least I hope not, because I work in a library, haha.
    Online book shopping has made a huge dent in the physical book-selling business, driving many small bookstores out of business. At the library, I see a lot of demand for cookbooks and children's books, as well as home improvement, travel, self-help, parenting,knitting patterns etc. Big, satisfying-feeling books with delectable photos (whether they be fairy tales, food shots or home reno ideas) are popular. It would be expensive for a person to own all those books, so they borrow them instead. No doubt many of those people are also plowing through digital novels on their devices...disposable books they don't really need to own physical copies of.

    When I buy Christmas gifts, I try to support my local bookstore (which blessedly still exists).
    I read on a Kindle every evening, but nothing beats the heft and feel of a real book. When it comes to storage...sometimes that heft is a liability. I have probably hundreds of pounds of books and magazines, and it's maybe time to thin the herd.
    Barn Hunter likes this.
  19. stanlow69
    Joined: Feb 21, 2010
    Posts: 4,118

    from red oak

    My daughter just spent $400 for books today. For classes at a major university. The last time I was in Barnes and Noble this year, they were packed. The fullest I have seen it in a while. I was looking at car magazines.
    Gasser 57 likes this.
  20. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 4,240



    We have all liked reading magazines from those early days. They were probably some of the methods that allow us to actually be able to read, similar to reading comic books from an early age. They all helped. As the magazines grew, they changed with the times. Maybe not our times, but their publishing times and what was best for their revenue from the publications.

    With the recent demise of the magazines, as we all know, books are in a different category. They are permanent display items and worthy of reading for its rich history and content. Sometimes magazines had similar content, but could not go into depth on any article or history of an event or place. History books from school seemed a little over the top with too much information we would never use. But, without documentation of history, there is no future.

    So, magazines, when printed tried to do the best as time permitted. They took anywhere from two to three months lead time to get the stories written and cut /paste on the boards for publication printing. So, the news was a little old, but no one really cared. It was the short history of a hot rod, national event or show. It was a in-depth as possible without covering all of the details or for the event, all of the classes. Magazines were as close to the actual event as one could get without going to the big show.


    Books on the other hand are permanent items for our homes and apartments. They are for reading over and over as the depth of the coverage of a topic was usually very good. The history of any event or place is usually well documented from all angles and forms of reporting from back in those days.

    I have read and watched most magazines and books as well as movie films from Lions Dragstrip’s history from the beginning. We seemed to have been walking distance to the drags like a lot of Westside Long Beach locals back then. So, the history was well within our realm of home court advantage in information. Some of the books are really good and do a great job of stating actual facts, supported by plenty of photos.

    The most recent book on Lions Dragstrip, “So Cal Thunder…When Lions Roared” is written by John “Waldo” Glaspey. It is one of those books that supports the fact that it is well done and has the most comprehensive historical writing/photos/original artwork of any book on the subject. This is a book for the archives, your coffee table, and for your drag racing history paraphernalia.
  21. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 17,571

    from California

    only car books are dead. I hadn't read a book that did not have cars in it since High School until current events made me want to be more informed. now I have a small library. buying another this weekend.
  22. It is now 'easy' to have a book printed, with digital printing you can have as few as 500 to 5,000 printed. But the harad part is selling them,. You can't get on the book self of the few book stores that are left, the major publishers have the shelves taken.
    You need a BIG social foot print to sell a book, look at The Rolling Bones as a model.
    The last great book that Peter Vincent did he spent two years going around the US to Book Stores, car shows and even got on Leno,,, a lot of hard work.
    When I could actually write, I talked to Steve Hendrickson, (juststeve, here) at Car Books he told me you don't make money as a writer on books until the second printing, but you get notoriety-a name.
    Even my cousin, The other Tony Huntimer has stopped doing automotive books.
    Spooky likes this.
  23. dreracecar
    Joined: Aug 27, 2009
    Posts: 2,941

    from so-cal

    More commonly known as a "Vanity Press" where you are your own publisher and distributor of your work
  24. dan c
    Joined: Jan 30, 2012
    Posts: 2,054

    dan c

    the best one in st. louis, a. amatin's, closed years ago. there's still one huge annual book festival, though!
  25. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 26,474


    Due as much to the rent cost in that area right now as any other factor. That and Amazon a couple of miles away sells the same book for less and delivers it to the door.
    I don't think that printed books are dead but our methods of buying them has changed. 20 years ago My wife and I hit a couple of books stores that were 35 miles from where we lived then just about every other weekend and one of the main reasons for the trip was to to go to those two stores. Now I can order a book on line and get it in the mail in a day or two for the same or less.
    Amazon does help the small guys though. I buy a lot of used books including most of my car books used from third party vendors. That includes several flathead books. I did order Flathead Facts by John W. Lawson the other day and it arrived a couple of days later direct from him in a priority mail envelope. That helps the small guy reach a huge market. Someone mentioned the book on FB that day and he probably got 50 sales of that one post.
    Gasser 57 and 41 GMC K-18 like this.
  26. jetnow1
    Joined: Jan 30, 2008
    Posts: 1,475

    from CT
    1. A-D Truckers

    A friend of ours just closed her retail used book store. She did a lot of her business on line to collectors,
    kept the retail store as it was easy for people to let her know what they had available for sale. She finally closed it due to the rising rental cost and the competition from library book sales. Can't pay a dollar for a used book when the library sells it for a dollar. She now does only on line sales, specializing in collector books.
  27. SR100
    Joined: Nov 26, 2013
    Posts: 729


    Self-publishing is different than using a vanity press. In self-publishing, you do all of the work (or sub it out). Vanity presses promise the moon, then half-ass it for a lot more money than it would take to have subcontractors do each step. Do a web search for "vanity press horror story".
    There is a cottage industry that has sprung up to support self-publishers with specialists to do the page layout, cover design, proofreading, e-book conversion, PR, etc. Print-on-demand services mean that you don't need to fill your garage with cases of books and spend your evenings and weekends shipping books. A well-written, professional looking book will find some sales, a book that looks tossed together will not. Best-sellers? Good luck. In any case, you should expect to spend more time in marketing and sales than you did writing.
    Writing about cars as a full-time job? That is a shrinking field. Most of the (few) people doing it are magazine staffers or former magazine staffers who have branched out into books and blogs.
  28. alanp561
    Joined: Oct 1, 2017
    Posts: 958


    There are any number of specialty magazines going strong. In the South East, there is Garden & Gun with some of the best writing you would ever want to see. Their stories about dogs make you feel you've known those animals. I've found out the locations of really good bars and recipes for their favorite drinks. Articles about really classic firearms make me appreciate them even though I can't afford them Cowboys and Indians is another that tells stories about the West that was and how it's changing. But the automotive mags are, for the most part, dead or nearly so. I don't like spending my money on magazines that are 3/4ths advertising and have articles pertaining only to the latest idea coming out of Detroit. If it doesn't educate or entertain me, I'm just not interested.
  29. dreracecar
    Joined: Aug 27, 2009
    Posts: 2,941

    from so-cal

    Before computers and the internet, if you wanted your book published and were turned down at the publishers, it was one of the options, They provided a service, sometimes the service was bad or the customer expected something different then what they recieved
  30. I am a avid collector and reader of books, I have a rather large collection of automotive books, mostly hardcover but a number of paper back also and I am still purchasing more.

    I also collect book about the American Civil War and recently bought a collection from a estate sale.

    Books are knowledge and when you lose power the internet is useless. HRP
    KKrod, RidgeRunner and Gasser 57 like this.

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