As far as indie bookstores go – I worked at one for a year, and went to several ABA functions, including BEA in NYC. Stick a fork in the indies, they’re done. We did a survey of our customers when I got to the store and found out 80 percent of our buying customers – not browsers, but buying, paying customers – were over 60. We had younger people come in and browse, but they never bought anything. They would have conversations in the stacks about getting things cheaper on Amazon. We did events, etc. and it didn’t matter. The business model is outdated, and most store owners are in their 50s and 60s (at the youngest) and are looking to cash out before the bottom drops out with e-books. I don’t know one person who’s bought at our indie bookstore recently. I do know about 10 people who have bought Kindles. I am not a scientific study but I don’t see the model of the indie lasting too much longer.
In this climate, the concept of originality takes a back seat to that of branding, and honest, down-at-heel voices have trouble making themselves heard above the cacophony of shite.
They cannot steal your luck: Luck is a funny thing. It’s a weird multiplier of success. It just happens (or doesn’t happen) to startups. It might be the difference between very little money or a whole lot of money. When it hits, boy is it sweet. You can’t steal luck. It’s like a ghost that you can only faintly see in the photograph afterwards. If someone tried to steal it, they would probably be grabbing at air.
The core problem… is that Al Qaeda and its affiliates, its sympathizers, and even self-starting terrorist actors who aren’t part of Al Qaeda itself, are a tiny and manageable problem. Yet the apparatus that has been created is designed to meet nothing less than an existential threat. Even at the height of the Cold War … there was nothing like the post-9/11 behemoth in existence.