LA Bookstore Owners Share Some Survival Secrets

The empty Borders location at the corner of Sunset and Vine serves as a chilling reminder of the upheaval currently roiling the bookstore industry. But a couple of nearby independent sellers, Book Soup in West Hollwood and Skylight Books in the Los Feliz district, are still in business.

Kerry Slattery, owner of Skylight, tells Fox News business reporter Suzanne Zionts that a a big part of the equation is hiring and retaining the right employees, so as to remain on top of the latest e-book and podcast trends. Book Soup meanwhile has a hand in an astonishing 500+ events per year and, says the overseer of that store and Pasadena’s Vroman’s, must navigate some new paradigms:

“You can no longer count on people to happen onto your store, so it’s about how you get it out there,” said president and CEO Allison Hill. Hill said the key to keeping up in this industry in flux is balance. “You have to honor tradition and embrace change simultaneously, said Hill. “We want people to come to us no matter what their content needs.”

There’s a funny typo at press time in the Fox piece; in the second paragraph, they spell Borders’ rival as Barnes & Nobel. We get where that came from. Any chain that is still around today in the shadow of Amazon deserves some sort of prize.