Borders Adopts Bold New Marketing Strategy: Trying to Sell Books

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If you've been following the fortunes of Borders as closely as we have (full disclosure: Vulture editor Mark worked in the marketing department of their corporate headquarters from 1996 to 2000), you'll recognize that they've been going through some dire straits of late. Not only did they endure a management shakeup in January (their CEO, George Jones, was unceremoniously shown the door), but they came perilously close to having their stock delisted from the NYSE before it rebounded in April. However, after taking their eye off the ball for most of the aughts with ill-advised decisions like outsourcing their online sales to dreaded rival Amazon.com and attempting to branch out into stationery sales, it seems that the new management team, led by CEO Ron Marshall, has come up with a novel approach to goosing their bottom line: They're actually going to focus on — *gasp* — selling books!

Specifically, they're going to focus on trying to "make" hits out of paperbacks that weren't necessarily huge hits during their hardcover runs. Rather than having their booksellers just point customers toward the YA section where all the Twilight and Harry Potter books reside, they're planning to push a small selection of books that their buyers feel have the potential to be breakout best-sellers. Books like Jeffrey Zaslow's nonfiction chronicle of the lifelong bond between eleven Iowa women, The Girls From Ames and the paperback for Kelly Corrigan's The Middle Place, a memoir about enduring breast cancer. Consider the publishing industry saved!

Superstore chain looks to 'make' hits [AP]