Free shipping anywhere in the world. 40% off RRP. Great bargains for the reader. But who is paying?
I appreciate the business models of international companies; the margins, the cost of logistics and the employment of many people in the chains of distribution. But these bargains are largely paid by the writer.
High profile writers who sell millions of copies are doing fine in the economies of scale. The marketers and distributors for the global corporations are providing a tremendous service for the consumer – and are producing fair profits for many people.
Beneath that high profile on-line or high street selling, there is a treasure trove of good quality writers who describe local culture, tell tales of mystery or intrigue, produce snapshots in time, and give you the sense of struggle or uplifting feelings. Perhaps they challenge perceptions, question sacred cows and provoke philosophical or political thinking.
In many ways, they are adding to our cultural heritage. But they often don’t squeeze through the filters of the slush piles or fit journal editors’ priorities of the time. That is where the small publishers, printers and journals provide a service, along with writers’ groups, conventions and the corner bookstore. They are providing for a niche market – for an intelligent clientele, with a need to be informed and nourished.
They can’t offer the great bargain specials. But they do ensure that the tales and perspectives of our experiences are preserved for you … and the next generations.
Just a thought!