The seller makes a profit, the buyer gets a good deal, and the author/publisher gets no monetary compensation whatsoever.

Is the used book business tantamount to theft?

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Yes, we've already beaten that one to death. Canada actually pays authors for library use of their books. I wonder where we went wrong in this country.
Oh, and I wonder if Canadian libraries pay U.S. authors.
No, Bridget,

College requirement books are tantamount to theft. They bribe the professor to insist on the eight edition, and---they change a word from the 7th.
There are no bribes involved. As I have said elsewhere, we'd happily require the same good textbook for several years if the publisher didn't change the edition every two years and change the pagination. You cannot teach a class where students all have different texts.

And frankly it isn't very nice to accuse your professors of taking bribes or kickbacks.
I am not an author but I can understand an appreciate the sentiments of authors when they see their books (that they have slaved over) on sale at Amazon for pennies. It is even more annoying when it is a book that has only been released a couple of days ago. The ethics of the whole thing is extremely debatable. I do buy second hand books, but I would say that 98% of them are books that are out of print and if I want a copy of the book then I am going to have to stump up for a second hand copy.

It seems that Authors generally don´t like used book trade and like even less amazon cheap sells. But I miss one aspect. According to M.J. Rose used books move 300 million US dollar, which is about 10% of the entire industry. What whould happen if the trade with used books stopped ?

To answer that one, I would like to make two assumptions:

- Many used books are almost new: "Really hot books are now hitting the second-hand stores within days of their release date."Sharon Wildwind
- The total amount of money spend for books, would not change if book prices change (at least not if prices would rise).

Therefore the buyer of those books would buy different books, most likely paperbacks. Seller usually redistribute the money. If they don't sell any "new" used books they would have less money to buy new unused books (mostly hardcover), and most likely they also would buy more paperbacks and less hardcovers. The amount seller have less, is the same amount buyer use to buy paperbacks; for the industry in all (and so for authors) it would be just a zero sum game.

Therefore I think, that used books trade don`t really hurt writers. (Microeconomically) it is just a way to stabilize hardcover sells.


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