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Monday, August 23, 2010

Further notes on the demise of the publishing industry

...arrived today courtesy of Don Blyly, owner of Uncle Hugo's Science Fiction Bookstore, "The oldest [surviving] independent science fiction bookstore in America." According to Don:

"The book industry is in turmoil. It seems like every few weeks there’s another announcement of 100s of people fired by Borders, as they try to cut expenses enough to survive. Barnes & Noble has announced that it’s for sale. Some commentators are speculating that the independents are likely to be able to survive after the national chains go under, as happened in the music industry. [...]

"One author who has had almost two dozen titles come out in mass market paperback recently told me that his current publisher told him that he and many other authors will no longer get mass market editions of their books, just hardcover and trade paperback. The chains have been buying so few copies of mid-list mass market paperbacks, and then returning them so quickly, that this publisher no longer feels that mass market paperbacks are profitable for many of their mid-list authors.

"Dorchester Publishing, which has been in the mass market business for almost 40 years, announced that their September titles were already printed and shipping to the bookstores, but that would be the last mass market books they were going to publish. [...] After September, they are going to e-books only for all of their titles, with some of the titles coming out 6 months later in print-on-demand trade paperbacks at around $15 each."

Personally, I see this merely as further evidence that the dinosaurs have failed to adapt to the changing ecology, but if you want to wallow in despair, there's more.
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