A New York Times article on Barnes and Noble.
The publishers are scared to death that Barnes and Noble is going to follow Borders into going out of business, dragging book sales with them.
Because independent bookstores only account for 8% of the sales.
Well -- who's fault is that?
Did it ever occur to these morons that supporting Borders and Barnes and Noble instead of the independent bookstores was putting all their eggs in one basket?
It was inevitable and foreseeable.
And avoidable. Giving preferential treatment to the big box stores was going to kill the independents. This isn't in dispute. The publishers were sued and found guilty of doing exactly that. They still do, just in legal ways.
You CAN'T KILL YOUR BASE OF SUPPORT!
And your base, basically, are the small stores all throughout the U.S.A. This was true of sports cards, and it was true of the music industry, and it's true of book publishers.
Like the sport card manufacturers before them, and the album producers, the book publishers went full blast into the big box stores. They couldn't be bothered with the little guy.
I know what some of you are saying: The big box stores sold more, they had a better model, why should the manufacturers fight it?
I'm not saying they should have fought it. I'm saying they shouldn't have cooperated so thoroughly to it. Really, it was collusion. They saw big bucks in chain stores and they didn't put a moment's thought into slipping the knife into the small stores by making it difficult to compete. Whatever they told themselves, they gave better terms to the big boxes.
The big box mass market chains stores achieved their size and pricing because the manufacturers HELPED THEM DO IT!
I just get tired of the media leaving out this step.
The manufacturers were responsible for the market they got. They could have made more of a level playing field.
Even -- gasp -- giving preferential treatment to independents, if they had to give preferential treatment at all.
Bulk discounts (I'm sorry, selling 10,000 books to a hundred independents, or 10,000 to one bookstore, you STILL sell 10,000 books.)
Exclusives, early shipping, overships, expanded returns, longer payment terms, endcaps, cheaper prices, etc. etc.
They did it in a hundred ways, folks.
It's their own damn fault.
4 days ago