Tuesday, May 18, 2010

History of Bookselling 2010

Bookninja, the terrific book blog, has a revealing piece on the nasty way bookselling works in the twenty-first century.

Publishers frequently set firm sell-dates to ensure all booksellers get an equal shot at launching a hot title. Booksellers that jump the gun are likely to be penalized by being denied prompt supply of future hot titles.

The suggestion is that with the new Stieg Larsson book, Chapters/Indigo has jumped the gun by ten days or so, when most small booksellers have not ever received their stock yet.  But since Chindigo controls the market so well, the publisher is unlikely to dare to punish it.

Today's quick ethics quiz: do you -- that's assuming you are already hot for Lisbeth Salander -- rush down to the big box right now, or do you wait for your long-suffering indy store to get its copies?

Bookninja claims to have broken this story, now being followed up by the press. Don't miss the comments on Bookninja's post.

(I know, your new history book is just out, and you just wish someone would stock it at all....)
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