The current news is Borders book stores are history. They're talking about cutting down from about 600 stores down to 50--and that might not be enough to survive. Gosh! It does look like the only place to buy a book is either at Barnes&Noble or at Amazon.

This can't be good. But how in hell do you start up and run an indie-type bookstore and survive?

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Level the playing field? You mean the discounts they allow big stores? They come out of the authors' royalties.
The author is not consulted. Books are standardly discounted for Amazon (and other mailorder sites) to off-set mailing costs, as well as Costco and the "bigbox stores". However, Amazon sells everybody's books; the big box stores sell bestsellers only. Bestselling authors can afford to take the cuts in return for the large sales, but no author controls discounts. Midlist authors rely on royalties based on full price sales, but frequently a significant portion has been discounted.
I should add that standard contracts do state that books may be discounted, so essentially an author agrees to let the publisher make this decision.
Naomi--my point exactly. Community.


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