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April 17, 2013

SA’s Van Schaik and Exclusive Books up for sale

van_scaik_copy | By Benedicte Page

South Africa’s Times Media Group has announced its decision to sell its book retail chains, Exclusive Books and Van Schaik.

The media company’s c.e.o. Andrew Bonamour said: “We are in the process of focusing the group around its core media businesses and while both book retail businesses hold a strong position in their respective trade book and academic book markets, they are not aligned with out future strategic direction.”

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March 19, 2013

Dale: Booksellers have publishers ‘over a barrel’

Iain Dale

Iain Dale

Publisher and former Conservative Party politician Iain Dale has hit out at the big booksellers, including W H Smith, Waterstones and Amazon, saying they have publishers “over a barrel”. Speaking at the Independent Publishers Guild conference this morning (7th March) Dale also repeated a call he made ten years ago to abolish “sale or return”.

Dale, founder of the political publisher Biteback Publishing, reserved his harshest criticism for W H Smith, which he said was “very willing to take publishers’ money and sell no books in return”.

He added: “Whenever I have done business with W H Smith they demand a large “marketing fee”—some might call it the book trade industry of protection money— to place our books in their stores.

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February 3, 2013

Husain urges publishers: ‘act now to keep bookshops’

Filed under: Bookshops — Tags: , , , , — Bookblurb @ 7:44 am

husain | By Lisa Campbell

The c.e.o. of Foyles has called for publishers and suppliers to support bookshops with better terms and consignment stock before it becomes “too late” as in the case of HMV.

In an open letter to The Bookseller, Sam Husain has said the bookselling model is broken and needs “a complete re-think” in the current climate before more retailers are lost.

Husain called for better terms from publishers and suppliers, aiming at an average of 60% discount instead of the average of 40% currently experienced—and “a level playing field” with supermarkets and online retailers, which he said can benefit by discount anything up to 15% higher than that given to booksellers, based on their volume of sales. Bookshops, however, are not compensated from the extra value they add as a showroom and advice centre for published works, he argued.

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November 21, 2012

Indies tell customers: ‘We pay our taxes’

 |By Lisa Campbell

Booksellers across the country are displaying “We Pay Our Taxes” posters in their shop windows in a reference to rival company Amazon’s appearance in front of the Public Accounts Committee last week (12th November).

The Booksellers Association has created striking red point-of-sale materials for its IndieBound members to encourage their customers to choose to shop at their local bookshop as opposed to using rival online site Amazon.

The first of the two POS styles reads: “Your Money, Your Bookshop, Your Community”, with a stack of pound coins followed by the message “We Pay Our Taxes”; the second features a Union Jack-patterned purse with the message “Can Pay Do Pay!”, followed by “We Pay Our Taxes.”

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September 5, 2012

EU investigation: publishers ‘concede e-book discounts’

Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins, Hachette Livre and Macmillan owner Verlugsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck have offered to allow retailers including Amazon to sell their e-books at a discount for two years in a bid to end an EU antitrust investigation and stave off fines, according to a Reuters report.

Apple, with which the publishers have entered into agency pricing agreements, is also said to have agreed on the concessions. Penguin, a fifth publisher which employs agency pricing on e-books, is not identified as having offered the concession.

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August 16, 2012

BA launches bookshop-finder web function

Filed under: Bookshops — Tags: , , , — Bookblurb @ 6:41 am

| By Lisa Campbell

The Booksellers Association has created a search button for host websites which will direct book buyers to “find their local bookshop”.

The “button” [pictured] currently features on the websites of the Society of Authors, the Books Marketing Society, the Independent Publishers Guild and the Publishers Association, with plans to push it out further to publishers and other companies promoting books online.

It performs a similar function to Amazon’s button which directs web browsers to visit its site, and could help oragnisations like the British Library direct customers to buy specific books from their local independent bookshop.

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May 26, 2012

RHG, Hachette score three each in R&J summer club

Filed under: Retail — Tags: , , , , — Bookblurb @ 5:55 pm

Richard and Judy

|By Katie Allen

Three Random House Group titles have been picked for the Richard and Judy Summer Book Club, exclusive to WHS, which returns this month with an extra two titles.

The Fear Index by Robert Harris (Arrow); The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (Vintage); and The Secrets Between Us by Louise Douglas (Bantam Press) are on the 10-strong list, which launches with Victoria Hislop’s The Thread (Headline Review).

One book will be launched each week in WHS stores nationwide and online from tomorrow (24th May), with extra bonus material in the back of the titles.

The Book of Summers by Emylia Hall, also Headline Review, is also in the promotion, plus third Hachette title Jubilee by Shelley Harris (Phoenix). A Perfectly Good Man by Patrick Gale (Fourth Estate) and The Hypnotists by Lars Kepler (Blue Door) from HCUK, Tideline by Penny Hancock (S&S) and Alice Bliss by Laura Harrington (Picador) complete the list.

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March 22, 2012

Four in ten shops to shut, Deloitte predicts

Filed under: Bookshops — Tags: , , , , — Bookblurb @ 10:03 am

|By Lisa Campbell

Four in ten shops will shut and property portfolios will reduce by 30-40% in the next five years as customers increasingly turn to online shopping over bricks and mortar, according to a report released this morning (21st March).

To remain competitive, chain stores will have to shrink the number of shops they have on the high street as more warehouse-style retail outlets crop up with free wi-fi for students to shop online, a report by Deloitte has stated.

Silvia Rindone, a director in the retail consulting practice at Deloitte and author of the Store of the Future report, said: “The majority of UK retailers have simply got too many stores.”

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March 9, 2012

McDermid backs value of publishers


Val McDermid

| By Charlotte Williams

Little, Brown author Val McDermid has backed the role of publishers, as children’s laureate Julia Donaldson spoke of her concern over the future of high street bookshops.

Speaking at the All Party Parliamentary Writers Group and All Party Parliamentary Publishers Group Author Dialogues Evening last night (6th March), organised by the Publishers Association and chaired by MP Tristam Hunt, crime writer McDermid argued publishers were needed to make an author’s efforts “the best they can be”.

She also stressed the value of publishers’ sales, marketing and creative teams in “putting the books in the hands of the people who will most enjoy reading it”. She added: “A quite scary part of the digital economy is that another role for publishers is to protect me [from piracy]. There’s a serious danger in not taking this seriously. We have to make sure there are writers in future, adding to the gaiety of nations.”

McDermid also stressed the importance of copyright and royalties: “We don’t ask to be paid because we’re greedy, we’re paid because it’s a career. If you can’t write your next book because you’re on your 53rd march to save the libraries, that stops you writing and diminishes culture as a whole.”

Little, Brown c.e.o. Ursula McKenzie, who was in conversation with McDermid, said self-publishing through the internet was “wonderful in many ways”, but said: “If you want to reach the widest possible audience, if you’re ambitious for your writing, you need to be able to get your book out through multiple channels, and that is where I have anxiety on all our behalfs, the pressure on high street bookshops, as they are so important to getting books to readers . . . you can’t rootle around [in an internet shop].”

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March 2, 2012

EDC pulls Usborne titles from Amazon

US publisher Educational Development Corporation (EDC) is withdrawing the sale of its Usborne titles from Amazon in response to what the publisher called the online retailer’s moves to “gain control of the publishing industry”.

In an action designed to directly support bricks and mortar booksellers, EDC’s president Randall White said withdrawing the sale of Usborne titles was “critical” to the long-term prosperity of EDC. In 2009 the publisher removed Kane Miller titles from the site.

According to Publishers Weekly, White said the decision to pull 1,500 titles between the Usborne and Kane Miller lines was a stance against Amazon’s attempts to “gain control of publishing and other industries by making it impossible for other retailers to compete effectively”.

He added: “I see this as critical to the long-term growth of EDC, and a way to demonstrate our support of the local booksellers, museum shops, gift stores, and others who sell our books to consumers. We also have an incredibly devoted direct sales force of independent sales consultants who make their living selling our books at home parties, to schools and libraries and via the internet. We want to support them in every way we can, and we’ve seen how, working together, not only can we survive without Amazon, but we can thrive.”

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