Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Toys Share The Fate Of Books

The bookstore market is starting to look like the toy store market.  Both are dominated by just a handful of big players while the Indies struggle for survival.

In toys, it’s Amazon, Toys R’ Us (15%), Target (17%) and Wal-Mart (30%), and Sears/Kmart (3%).  Amazon accounts for about 10% and then roughly 25% of all toy sales come from 1,500 small toy stores.  There used to be 2,500 such stores around the turn of this century.  Fewer vendors, some of whom are huge, means consumers will see less variety.  Though a big box store can carry lots of toys, it’s only going to carry what sells.  Smaller stores can be creative and push unique, often educational items not sold elsewhere.  The $22 billion toy industry, like books, struggles to find a way to grow.

It’s also becoming a bit blurred as to what qualifies as a toy.  If my kids “play” all day on a mini-iPad or an iPod Touch, do they count as toys?

Many bookstores sell toys and many toy stores sell books.  Maybe a new brand will evolve, one that sells educational toys, music, DVD’s, books, magazines, and other forms of content?  Oh, wait, that’s Barnes & Noble!  Why do they struggle so much when they offer so much?

Are we in a post content-for-fee era?  Is everything found online for free?

Toys, in order to avoid such a fate, must remain physical.  There needs to be something you hold in your hand – otherwise everything can be copied and duplicated online.

The book industry should pay attention to the toy industry and see what it can learn from a business dependent on people looking to entertain and educate their children.  Books can serve the same purpose.

BOOK EXCERPT: The Compass Of Now by DDnard

“About the time one learns to make the most of life, most of it is gone.

“Whatever you give your attention to is the thing that governs your life.

“In managing or life, the essential rule is to allocate our time and energy first to that which is most meaningful to us.  Beware of letting ourselves slip, and take up precious space in our life-basket. The key to this is awareness and a strong sense of life’s purposes and values.  With our mind fixed upon our life’s purposes, we know what we would do and wouldn’t do, what contributes to our values, and remain watchful for when we want to deviate or escape to what is not.

“Following are personal inner treasures that, once obtained, will result in a wealthy, healthy, and happy life:

1.    "  Faith: Having faith in the causes and effects of all actions.  We must persevere in developing our own mind, and in learning and growing from all experiences.

2.      "Perseverance: Efforts in watching over our mind, thoughts, actions, and words so that they do not harm ourselves or other, and efforts in lessening the impacts of past misdeeds and making sure they do not happen again.

3.      "Competency: Dedication to acquiring the knowledge and wisdom of life.

4.      "Contribution: Forgiving, giving, sharing, understanding, mercy, and compassion – a spirit of goodness that energizes others and attracts more good to come into our lives.

5.      "Wisdom: Understanding the nature of life.  Knowing what to do, how, when, where, and what for. Understanding the pros and cons of things from the observation of self and others with a tranquil mind.”


2015 Book PR & Marketing Toolkit: All New

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, Media Connect, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2014

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