Skip to comments.Book Publishing Needs Socialism to Save It ("need" to suppress competition like France does)
Posted on 07/27/2014 2:24:07 PM PDT by ransomnote
Book Publishing Needs Socialism to Save It
Let me just state up front that I love America and wouldnt live anywhere else but, I also believe theres room for a blend of socialism and capitalism to exist in a democratic society, and when it comes to how books are sold or treated, I prefer what the French and other advanced nations do.
They protect books and the printed word. I applaud themand so should you.
Here in the U.S., thanks largely to Amazon, books have become commoditized. You can buy clothes based on priceor a desk or the hotel you vacation at. But books should not be purchased based on price alone.
Sure price is a factor. One may buy a used book vs. a new one, to save money. Others will buy a paperback rather than the higher-priced hardcover. But when books become so devalued and sell at a loss, you have to question how such pricing helps the long-term viability of books.
In the U.S. it seems the publishing market is ruled by one companyAmazonand five major conglomerate publishersand one physical retailer (Barnes & Noble). When Amazon makes a change, the publishing industry trembles and acquiesces.
But the Hatchette-Amazon battle is now being waged and the repercussions of it could dictate the fate of publishings long-term viability. However, in other countries, books are a much healthier product.
In France, where Amazon only owns 10-12% of the book marketbut 70% of online sales, Amazon is contained because of laws passed to protect and support bookstores and publishers.
The law says online sellers cant offer free shipping on discounted books. Further, booksellers cant offer more than a 5% discount off a books cover price.
(Excerpt) Read more at bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com ...
At present, publishing is in an upheaval with the traditional "Big 5" publishers losing market share to self-publishing (often via Amazon self publishing wing). Old media is demanding that things go back to the way they were.
Oh, I DEFINITELY stopped right there.
...so this person wants to take Karl Marx’s Socialist theory, which says that Capitalism is evil and needs to be destroyed and “blend” it with a free market?
Maybe we can try some Nazism to help the Jewish community too...
restrict competition and raise prices are touted as a good thing?
.that’s about where I dropped out too ...
Everything is "me to kilo" (by the Kg).
The losers from "protectionism" are you and I, the consumer with higher prices, fewer choices, and less than maximum quality. We are also losers in the overall economy which always underperforms when government effectively implements price (and wage) controls.
<>”Big 5” publishers losing market share to self-publishing . . . <>
I didn’t know that. Please elaborate.
Just shows that socialists like this clown are luddites and stuck in the past.
I find this sort of “reasoning” so alien.
“ In Germany, books cant be discounted. In fact, six of the 10 biggest book-selling countries have versions of fixed book pricesJapan, Italy, Spain, South Korea, Germany, and France.”
The author calls it a “touch of socialism”???
And this...”To preserve the value of books, we must take the finances out of the equation.” Would the word “finances” be replaced with “discounts”?
According to Publisher's Weekly, book sales in 2013 topped $15.05 billion. So, there's obviously a gigantic market for them. If books themselves are being sold at a loss, I'm sure some enterprising fellow or company will come up with a way to make them profitable, especially in such a huge sales market.
To sum up, this writer is a tool and should be shot.
This guy acts like all books are equal. Some books are crap and deserve the bargain bin.
The guy would probably say that all books are equal, but some are more equal than others.
Marginal costs of publication have been reduced to zero by the new business model based on electronic media.
Another union goon wanting government to protect his turf.
The price of books is just plain absurd!
After paying 36 dollars for a book on how to learn Photoshop back around 2001, I swore off buying retail. Not worth it.
Thank goodness for garage sales, or else I wound never buy any.
The information you request is diffused throughout the websites I’ve been reading.
Hugh Howey, an author, working with one or more data geeks collected information off of Amazon’s websites, used the ranking of the book to determine sales of the book (supposedly how Amazon ranks books - sales) along with publisher and price for 120,000 top selling books and has crunched numbers. I
n general, his report suggests self publishers/indie publishers have gained surprising market share and self-published authors are making more money (70% of book price via Amazon) than traditionally published authors (17% of book price via publisher) unless you are talking about the Stephen King or James Patterson sized mega author. The primary gain in market share is e-books because self-publisher can’t get the price down on print copies the way the big publishers can but the “little” author or indie publisher doesn’t have to pay for warehousing or shipping of print copies.
Hugh Howie is the face of the “Author Earnings Report”
This latest updated report has once again caused a commotion. The old media deride it as “lies, filthy lies” but so far it seems to hold up. A blogger tested the waters by asking readers to post a comment in a piece called “Indie Authors Quitting Their Day Jobs” was surprised at the number and positive quality of information people posted.
Note I have mashed the words “indie” and “self” publishers together as I can’t recall the specific numbers each earned but in general - both gained market share over the Big 5 and the traditional publishers are freaked out and denying the report could be accurate.
However, in other countries, books are a much healthier product.
Many products and services can and should compete, in part, on price, but I believe staunchly that books cannot be commoditized. To preserve the value of books, we must take the finances out of the equation.
He makes these three completely unsupported assertions upon which he bases his entire argument.
Unlike most other products, books are a commodity. The copy of a certain book I buy from Amazon, Booksamillion, Barnes & Noble, from any other bookstore or direct from the publisher is exactly the same (with the possible exception of shelf wear). This can't be said for most other items including the clothes, desk or vacation hotel he specified.
In fact, the author's exact same arguments could be made by sellers of clothes, desks or hotel rooms that they shouldn't be subject to competition or discounting. I'm sure that clothes sellers would say that clothes are even more important than books and therefore clothes stores should be protected.
After reading this it seemed familiar. Then I realized it sounded awfully like Ayn Rand's character Balph Eubanks from Atlas Shrugged.
"It would work very simply," said Balph Eubank. "There should be a law limiting the sale of any book to ten thousand copies. This would throw the literary market open to new talent, fresh ideas and non-commercial writing. If people were forbidden to buy a million copies of the same piece of trash, they would be forced to buy better books."Limit sales and restrict customer choice in order to allow unsuccessful competitors to stay in the market at the expense of both the consumers and their more successful competition (along with the tax payers because such restrictions are usually one small step from subsidies).
Yes. I do sense that all this back flipping is to “protect” unwanted books written by untalented authors. Or perhaps well written books on unwanted topics.
There’s no awareness on the part of the blogger that keeping prices high reduces the number of books sold. The consumer’s wallet is often not as elastic as the socialists would like.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.