Monday, February 06, 2006

How the industry has changed

Derek Johns, retiring president of the UK Association of Authors’ Agents, has given a succinct summary of the recent, and significant, changes in the book trade.

Meanwhile, the whole discounting strategy, which is inevitably mentioned by Johns, is given an airing by Roger Tagholm.

Both stories in Publishing News, linked by

1 comment:

Clive Keeble said...

Amazon worldwide sold 1.6 million copies of the latest Harry Potter - surprise, surprise this did not return them a profit.

"Turnover is vanity : profit is sanity"

Without the advantage of listing and commission income from over a million 3rd party sellers Amazon would be unable to deliberately price point new books at a level which does not show them a profit.

In the short term their customers are the winners : however, retail history shows that such discounting will always have knock-on business failures, and often in the long-term a reduced catalogue selection.

As a rural independent bookshop owner I have made a submission to the Competition Commission re Waterstone's acquisition of Ottakar's. Me, I'm strongly for the takeover as without a vibrant retail bookshop backbone, via a resurgent Waterstone's, the supermarkets and Amazon are going to control the UK booktrade to suit their shareholder's interests.

Clive Keeble