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Friday, January 09, 2009

Margin Erosion for Book Publishers, Booksellers and Authors

David Streitfeld writes in the Sunday, December 28, 2008 NEW YORK TIMES, about the death of the book industry. In an article titled, Bargain Hunting, and Feeling Sheepish About it, Streitfeld notes the effect of online web sites on profit margin erosion for bookstores, publishers and authors. He writes of his experience buying ROOM FOR DOUBT for 25¢ on the Internet. He claims the book retails for $13.95 plus tax in a conventional bookstore.

While the article may be hyperbole (see Tom Campbell's rebuttal on his blog,, authors and publishers should note the trend of online book retailing and its effect on book marketing and distribution.

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At 1:41 PM, Blogger WillowRaven said...

It's just me, I know, but nothing beats a good book. A real life, hardcover copy, to snuggle up with. I refuse to buy ebooks.

Aidana WillowRaven
WillowRaven Illustration & Design Plus

At 1:12 PM, Blogger - Color Copies - Blog said...

This is very similar to the whole issue of record stores vs. digital downloads. It's cheaper to download your songs. But then you don't get the album art and packaging.

The big difference is, a lot more people share WillowRaven's feelings about hardcover books than care about having album art.

I'm the type to stick the CD case on a shelf and forget about it anyway. A musician is lucky if I look at their album art one time through.

However, we as a society have to make some conscious choices and think about their ramifications. Do we want to live in a world without record stores and bookstores? It sounds awfully sterile.

But how many of us are willing to curtail downloading of music (or eBooks) to fight this coming change?


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