Andrew AlbaneseIn 2015, the opening of an independent bookstore is an event rare enough to attract attention from bystanders – rather like spotting a vintage automobile with shiny chrome bumpers and flashy fins sailing through your town’s streets.

When the Gulf Coast Bookstore flung open its doors in Fort Myers, Florida, the attention was even greater than usual. On its bookshelves were the works of independent authors and not those from the established publishing houses of the Big Five and others.

“All we’ve heard about self-publishing for the last few years is that it is digital—that e-books are what have driven the growth,” observes Andrew Albanese, Publishers Weekly senior writer. “But here is a venture that notes that one of the prime ways to reach readers is physical display—having a book on a shelf, facing out.”

“I truly doubt that the sales in this store will generate major profits from sales,” Albanese admits to CCC’s Chris Kenneally. “But I am very curious to see how authors use this to market their e-books. In any case, it is a fascinating new front in the indie publishing realm.”

Every Friday, CCC’s “Beyond the Book” speaks with the editors and reporters of “Publishers Weekly” for an early look at the news that publishers, editors, authors, agents and librarians will be talking about when they return to work on Monday.

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