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Book business in Singapore

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ksl
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Postby ksl » Wed, 05 Oct 2011 2:11 pm

Book shops have been in decline for 5 years or more world wide.
Singapore is a more serious problem as rentals are high, it wasn't that Borders wanted to close, it was because the Landlord would not reduce the rental, feasibility studies by Borders showed it wasn't feasible to continue with high rental costs in prime areas with such a wide book choice.

There is a niche I'm sure SE is correct, though only market research and alternative sales outlets to rental shops may support the idea in Singapore.

I'm sure there are a number of people that prefer to have books in their hand, rather than ebooks.

Eye strain is an increasing problem with technology that most people are unaware of, so maybe you need to target peoples emotions to remind them of the health issues with reading from Screens and how it also effects Children's eyes too.

Singapore is really educational driven, with educational books including assessment books taking premium price, so personally I believe their is still a market for a focused approach, on supplying a niche area in educational and competitive stimulation, combining online service with some educational reinforcement program for children, with hard copy books.

Maths, science, history, geography, sports or whatever interest which is useful for children will attract parents too in Singapore. Educational suppliers of both books and supporting programs for memory reinforcement is a niche in itself.

All you need to do is proper research on what is available from suppliers and what is the market potential in Singapore for your niche and how are you going to capitalise on the idea, distribution, sales retail outlets online presence and so on, not forgetting the competition that you may already have or stimulate.

Online sales are picking up in Singapore and more companies are having an online presence, though the websites I have checked all lack SEO in Singapore!

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Postby ecsy911 » Wed, 05 Oct 2011 3:24 pm

Thanks ksl for your encouragement and advice. My idea is only in the budding stage, lots to think about and research on!

The biggest challenge, i think, is the competition against the e-world. Maybe i'll need to emphasize not just on the reading, but the sense of touch and hands-on activities for children - bring out the importance of these.

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Postby ksl » Wed, 05 Oct 2011 11:57 pm

ecsy911 wrote:Thanks ksl for your encouragement and advice. My idea is only in the budding stage, lots to think about and research on!

The biggest challenge, i think, is the competition against the e-world. Maybe i'll need to emphasize not just on the reading, but the sense of touch and hands-on activities for children - bring out the importance of these.
but the sense of touch and hands-on activities for children - bring out the importance of these.


Yes exactly, there will always be a market for books, just as there is a market for vinyl records, so you need to create emotional disturbance sometimes, to make people realise what they are actually going to miss. The senses are very important to many products, Though Vinyl records are now increasing again over the years and romance is back in some homes too :lol: Though I guess books and Vinyl records go better on a winters night, with a roaring fire and a hot mug of drinking chocolate, rather than 32C degrees and high humidity :wink:

I believe kids will always want books and comics too to be honest especially at bed time! Electronics are damaging in many many ways on the social front and parents should truly be worried and aware of the dangers

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 06 Oct 2011 9:16 am

Books are damaging to kids health as well. In fact it is been shown that the new electronic media is less prone to causing back problems in school children here in Singapore as they don't have to carry 30kg of books around on their backs every day in school like they did a few years ago. :cool:

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Postby ecsy911 » Thu, 06 Oct 2011 9:26 am

ksl: I agree! i personally love flipping real books and magazines to electronic ones. Its a different experience i feel. Call me low tech... :)

Sundaymorningstaple: i think that's something schools should be looking at. In any case, any bookstore i have (if ever) wont be selling textbooks or assessment books (though they may sell well)!

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Postby nakatago » Thu, 06 Oct 2011 10:59 am

sundaymorningstaple wrote:Books are damaging to kids health as well. In fact it is been shown that the new electronic media is less prone to causing back problems in school children here in Singapore as they don't have to carry 30kg of books around on their backs every day in school like they did a few years ago. :cool:


I can empathize. I wish tablets and e-readers were around when I was in grade school...because all my teachers required us to bring textbooks everyday! And we had the same classes everyday!

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 06 Oct 2011 11:36 am

The other thing about eReaders is the fact that most students in Singapore don't study with the best of lighting (you would have to see how they study at home), the eReader, with it's own light source would make a good case for "less" eyestrain, and potentially less myopia. This especially so with the newer fonts & shadings they they use. (At least visual myopia that is - the mental myopia we see here I think is hereditary).

I would think eBooks for kids on things like iPads & other tablets with 10" or better screens would be even more attention holding for kids. just think, instead of images in books, you could now click on the image and have a skit that mimics a portion of the passage it was representing in the book. Definitely a way to hold the child's attention. The possibilities are endless and it wouldn't necessarily eliminate the parent from the equation as the parent could still read the story to the child. Later, the child could download the verbal story from AudioVox and just listen to the story if for some reason the parent was unable to read it to them. :wink:

Don't get me wrong, I still love leather bound books myself. They become friends for life if you take care of them. I hate silverfish though!

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Postby ecureilx » Thu, 06 Oct 2011 11:41 am

ecsy911 wrote:Well I wouldnt want to keep the all the locals out, just select ones. I like to think the more affluent parents wouldnt be doing those things mentioned!


Did anybody tell you that 'affluent' are so, mainly because they don't pay for things they don't need to pay ?? :D :D

Like the big time billionaires, who really earned their money, are known to 'lease' aircraft, instead of buying .. the answer famously quoted by a rich man was, "why buy, when you can rent it .. and when I don't have the need, I can don't pay for rental"

Rich (those who really worked to get there) got there by being careful.

In terms of book-store, I have bumped into a lot of reasonably rich people, in Kinokoniya and Borders, who spend an hour plus on referencing 200 $ books, and walk out with a cheaper 10 $ magazine ...

Define "affluent" again ?? :D

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Postby nakatago » Thu, 06 Oct 2011 1:20 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:The other thing about eReaders is the fact that most students in Singapore don't study with the best of lighting (you would have to see how they study at home), the eReader, with it's own light source would make a good case for "less" eyestrain, and potentially less myopia. This especially so with the newer fonts & shadings they they use. (At least visual myopia that is - the mental myopia we see here I think is hereditary).


This argument is moot with true ereaders because of e-ink. E-ink does not use light and looks like ink on paper. People who get eye-strain looking at LCD/LED screens don't experience the same thing with e-ink screens.

Splitting hairs, yeah but hey...
Last edited by nakatago on Thu, 06 Oct 2011 1:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby ecureilx » Thu, 06 Oct 2011 1:36 pm

nakatago wrote:This argument is moot with true ereaders because of e-ink. E-ink does not use light and looks like ink on paper. People who get eye-strain looking at LCD/LED screens don't experience the same think with e-ink screen.

Splitting hairs, yeah but hey...


+1, as from my experience having loaned out a Kindle and Nook for a few weeks ..

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Postby ksl » Thu, 06 Oct 2011 2:20 pm

This is the 21st century one should use a little brain matter and creativity realise the innovative products around can be used to improve one's daily life including school children.

The fact of the matter is, there will always be more than one market be it big or small.....When a product sells you define the benefits and experience of the products and work towards satisfying the customers wants and needs. If the customer doesn't want those wants and needs satisfied then so be it!

How one presents the sale will make all the difference to individual consumers senses.

There will always be pro's and cons, plus the people you can never ever satisfy no matter what!

Are you sure you understand the word affluent! It means in abundance, plentiful supply of wealth and materialistic goods. Not a greedy tight fisted geezer that doesn't spend :lol: Were there is Sh-t there is money too don't forget so hoarding rubbish like books and cardboard can also make you $ .

Look at the old dear who collected rubbish in her apartment, and the MP that paid her over a 1000$ to clear it, :lol: I think a combination of today's technology can be used to satisfy those wants and needs much easier, though it will be a sad world, to delete past experiences. Most reasons why parents save items of a child's years, like the story book, the teddy bear, even the pictures can be felt in the hand, the sense of reality of the past will always be cherished and valued.

Though I don't expect the modern day Singaporean to understand or appreciate things of the past as anything to do with antiquity is a skill one must have interest for. Like SMS's old mobile phone :lol:

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 06 Oct 2011 3:21 pm

6 years on a free Motorola L6 is pretty good I'd say. Also 6 years and still working for a Dopod 900 is absolutely unheard of, but even with 6 years the ROI is still lousy! (glad "I" didn't buy it!) :wink:

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Postby technoviking » Fri, 07 Oct 2011 7:22 pm

apparently, many young enterprising folks still think it's a great idea to start bookstores... the more off-center the better.

http://blogs.wsj.com/searealtime/2011/0 ... aten-path/

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Fri, 07 Oct 2011 8:39 pm

Unfortunately, there isn't any way of telling if they are making a profit, breaking even, taking a salary or if it's just a hobby/shop, which is what I reckon.

And Duxton Hill & Chinatown hardly qualify for "Off the beaten track" status. :roll:

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Postby JR8 » Fri, 07 Oct 2011 9:21 pm

Aren't Co Pte accounts public documents?


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