With a little help from his bookselling friends, Robert Martin, director of operations for the Midwest Independent Booksellers Association, shared "10 Reasons Why Bookselling Is Not Retail" in a post on Medium, including:
- Books are not traditional products.
- Booksellers are highly valued within the industry.
- Bookstores reflect the character of their staff.
- Bookstores reflect the character of their community.
- Bookstores impact their community.
- The book industry IS a community.
- Bookselling is more service-driven than traditional retail.
- Galleys and swag
- Crossover with other segments of the industry.
"Granted, there are lots of independent businesses that operate in unique ways, and there are other industries that function without top-down corporate homogeneity," Martin wrote. "But independent bookstores function incredibly differently from the way most retail functions. These 10 differences don't really even scratch the surface of what a unique environment it is."