I have just read an article in The Observer, September 18th. (Yes, I’m catching up on a huge pile of newspapers, which need to be thrown out before someone in my household breaks a leg).
Anyway, the article reminded me of exactly what I am doing here, and why I am promoting small press/independent publishers and self-published authors.
Waterstone’s, a major UK bookseller, is demanding 65-75% discount on all titles. In addition, £30,000.00 or more towards marketing costs for each book they promote! Independent publishers, who have generally spent far less than that on an advance to their authors, are particularly reluctant to take the risk, and I for one DON’T BLAME THEM! This is not because I don’t have faith in these authors, but because it is obvious that those belonging to the smaller end of the book-chain do not have the money to spend on ensuring their books are displayed in the top spots of such large establishments.
Does this mean their books are not worth promoting? Sigh, of course not. They are just put at a totally unfair disadvantage and cannot compete with the top predators who monopolise the market for their own greedy needs. As if talent matters in the publishing business, eh?
So, what does that mean for us, the readers who actually buy the books and the people who (I hope) our authors actually write for? Our choices may be reduced to the bare minimum, but at least we can guarantee there’ll be plenty (of the same books) to pick from these strategically placed A-List titles backed with lots of cash. Catch my drift?
I don’t know, perhaps I’m just having a moody day, but… wouldn’t it be nice to be in a world, which wasn’t ruled by money in such a greedy, unfair way. No wonder lower league football clubs are running at thousands of pounds in the red, small book shops are being forced to close and don’t, I repeat, don’t get me started on a certain supermarket giant!