RadioBDC Logo
Rollercoaster | Bleachers Listen Live
 
 
< Back to front page Text size +

The point of no return

Posted by David Mehegan  May 23, 2008 11:34 AM

E-mail this article

Invalid E-mail address
Invalid E-mail address

Sending your article

Publishers Weekly online reports that Steve Riggio, CEO of Barnes & Noble, is talking about eliminating the traditional practice of booksellers returning to publishers all the books that do not sell. It's a strange quirk of the book business -- imagine your local car dealer returning all the unsold cars to Ford and Toyota. But it does prevent booksellers from radically marking down their slow-moving wares.

This is bound to set off a huge and hot discussion among large and small booksellers, as well as publishers. Publishers would love it, but small booksellers will be under greater pressure to make the right buying choices. What seems likely is that they will take fewer chances on odd or niche books, which might mean all Grisham et al., all the time. If you're stuck with every book you take out of the box, why take any chances? That would reduce the variety of bookstore inventory, and might drive more independent stores out of business as they lose their ability to compete with Barnes & Noble and other big chains on variety of selection.

E-mail this article

Invalid E-mail address
Invalid E-mail address

Sending your article

1 comments so far...
  1. Why does 'making things difficult' = 'small bookstores go out of business'? Isn't it the independent bookstore's JOB to have better judgment than a Barnes & Nobles? If not, why do we care about them so much?

    Posted by Daniel May 23, 08 02:36 PM
 
About off the shelf News about books, authors, and publishers from The Boston Globe.
contributors
Nicole Lamy is editor of the Globe's Books section.
Jan Gardner writes the "Shelf Life" column for the Globe's Books section.
archives

browse this blog

by category