Romance, Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult, Book reviews, industry news, and commentary from a reader's point of view

Borders Is Reducing Debt & Revamping Stores

Borders sent out a press release updating the world on its improved financial status. It has reduced debt by 44.9% by the end of the first quarter even though sales were down by 12.1%. Read more at Personanodata.

The new CEO, Ron Marshall, plans further changes to Borders stores, increasing the children’s section and focusing on cooking and health section while reducing or eliminating the music and movies. Further changes include ordering only two weeks worth of books at a time instead of the normal twelve week supply. This will wreak havoc with print runs at publishing houses as the publishers rely on orders in determining how many books to print initially.

Read more at Publishers’ Weekly.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Wendy
    May 27, 2009 @ 09:59:04

    Good for them for reducing their debt – although I think it’s come at the expense of dwindling selection. While I used to have no problem of finding whatever my heart desired at Borders, I’m now relying more and more on checking their stock online (at before making the trip.

    And I might be in the minority here – but yeah, get rid of the music and movies. Really. If I want to buy a CD or DVD – Borders is the last place I’m going. Just sayin’.

    What I find interesting, at least at my local Borders, is that they’ve expanded the romance section. They’ve opened up the area more, and it makes browsing so much easier. Also, the category romance racks are a lot more picked over than they used to be. As in, people seem to be buying them (not as in Borders isn’t stocking). I’m wondering if they got the memo that romance is flourishing in this crap economy?

  2. TerryS
    May 27, 2009 @ 10:26:23

    It shows. My local Borders Express has really expanded their romance section. I see fewer copies of a great selection of books where just a few months ago there were multiple copies of a lesser selection. Back then I often went home without finding what I wanted, but not anymore. In general, it looks like they have made the same changes to the sci-fi/fantasy and young adult sections.

  3. Kinsey W. Holley
    May 27, 2009 @ 10:55:21

    Once again I have to compliment myself on my timing. After twenty years of talking about writing romance, I finally start to do it, exactly one year before the economy blows up. Despite getting a novella published, I’m not filled with hope for my future as the Next Big Thing in Romance.

    If I were feeling optimistic, I could take comfort in the fact that I launched my writing career just as e-publishing takes off. But I’m in bitterhissingcrone mode today, so I won’t do that.

  4. Samantha
    May 27, 2009 @ 11:47:51

    This makes me hopeful for our local Borders, we just got one of their new fancy stores. But that is one thing I never understood, yes books, movies and music seems to jive together really well, except when I can walk across the parking lot to Target and buy my movies and music at literally half the price, I’m still saving multiple dollars to use the gas to drive over. One stop shopping is a great love of mine but their pricing just negates it for me.

    I do hope our store gets reconfigured, I’ve never seen anyone in the music or movies section, they don’t even staff that dept it’s so empty of patrons. If they are going to keep the audiobooks then they need to bring them out of the abyss that is hiding behind music and movies, I seriously didn’t even know they had audiobooks until I went looking for the restroom.

    We also need a reconfigure of the romance dept. I spoke with the lovely lady who’s in charge of putting the new books out and she agreed their store is lacking in the selection of romance. She did take my advice on stocking at least a single copy of the preceding books in a series when a new installment comes out, I went in to buy 5 different series for Christmas and ended up missing at least one book from every set, while they had umpteen copies of the newest (released in the previous 2 months) books.

    I’d also like to see the childrens section reconfigured, right now it’s a hot mess. I have 8 and 9 year olds and can never figure out where to find books appropriate for them. You’ve got your sectioned in small kids (picture) book area and young adult, where are the in-betweens hiding?

    And why is young adult all placed on 12 foot high bookcases? I may be shorter than the 5th graders at my kids school but come on when I have to get help getting the books I want down, how discouraging would that be to someone who doesn’t book shop with a list?

    OK so this is longer than I intended but I love dissecting bookstores for how I could improve them, one day I shall create the best used book store ever and never make any money cause I won’t want to give them up until I’ve read them all.

  5. Sherry Thomas
    May 27, 2009 @ 13:27:16

    My nearby Borders Express just closed. :-(

    It had a great romance selection and two great romance-friendly booksellers who are now looking for jobs.

    But am glad Borders has good news to report overall.

  6. DanceChica
    May 27, 2009 @ 13:39:20

    Well, my Borders still has a poor selection, which has prompted me to start shopping at Barnes and Noble since they are usually well stocked.

    I agree that CDs and DVDs should be eliminated, though, because Borders is not my destination for music and movie shopping.

    But I really wish Borders would start sending out coupons that can be used online again. I understand that Borders is trying to drive more customers into their store, but online business is still business, right?

  7. veinglory
    May 27, 2009 @ 14:44:46

    I have also noticed the Borders selection shrinking. I can’t even depend on them having top selling author’s new releases. And with my branch they don’t put new releases out in a timely way so when I ask they just say they are “out back” and refuse to go and get one. Not to mention that they theoretically get PW but in two years I have only seen it on the shelf three times. Are they returning it without even displaying it? (Of course I am still sulking that their aquisition person has agreed to stock my book on three separate occassions but never actually done so–I got the hint and stopped asking.)

  8. Miki
    May 27, 2009 @ 15:14:28

    The few times in the last year that I actually wanted a print book, when I checked at Borders, they didn’t have it in stock. It makes it hard to support them – if I’d wanted to deal with ordering it, I would have done it myself (probably from Amazon, before all the kerfuffle there) without getting into my car!

    It becomes less of a problem – for me – as I mostly buy only digital books. But there are occasional “can’t-miss-this” books that are only released in print. I want to support Borders, but it’s discouraging to never find what I’m looking for there. I have to go out of my way to get there, so it’s not like I can special order with them and just “drop by” on the way to/from work.

  9. Evangeline
    May 28, 2009 @ 04:44:28

    I support Borders because I prefer its feel over B&N (too Starbucksy and self-aware for me), but the stores are closing down like flies where I live, which makes it difficult to use the wonderful coupons they send me. I have noticed the reduced selection of Music and DVDs, but the romance section remains filled with back lists :( rather than new releases.

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