Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Interesting Articles from Jerry Simmons

I receive a very informative newsletter from Jerry Simmons about once a month. Sometimes it's info I've already seen, sometimes it's brand new or rather thought provoking. I thought I'd share a few of those with you.



8 June 2008 - republished from Word Power Books

Amazon has been up to dirty tricks again! has been removing the 'buy button' from books and titles published by companies within the Hachette Livre UK group, as well as removing some of their titles from promotional positions, such as 'Perfect Partner', in order to exert pressure on them to give Amazon much bigger commercial terms than they currently receive.

Hachette Livre UK is taking the lead in resisting Amazon's demands, and hopefully, other publishers will follow suite. Barney Bardsley, author of A Handful of Earth made the following appeal:

It would be great if you could consider boycotting... your orders from Amazon, as they seem to pose a real threat to authors, booksellers and publishers (and therefore, ultimately, to readers).

It is clear that small independent bookshops receive, if lucky, no more than 40% discount of recommended retail price for books. Anything more than 40% is an exception rather than a rule. Amazon and big corporate retailers often receive a discount of more than 50% of the recommended retail price from publishers, including those that claim to be radical left publishers. Despite these generous terms, Amazon is making and continues to make increasing demands on publishers to give more generous terms, at the expense of authors, booksellers and publishers. If this is not resisted now, it would lead to Amazon taking all the revenue that is currently shared between the author, publisher, retailer, printer, proof-reader, designer, and so on and on. Hachette Livre UK group has to be applauded for resisting a Union Busting Corporation ! All publishers, especially radical publishers that claim to support trade unions, should now make their position clear and demand that if Amazon is wishing to sell their books, they can have them at a trade discount of 40%! That is just and fair!

Publishers will be penalized by Amazon if they were to give 40% discount, but is it not time to take a stand? If there are sufficient number of publishers willing to take the same approach, Amazon will have no choice but to accept what is being offered. Now is the time for publishers to consolidate and act with a united wall of resistance to Amazon's unreasonable demands. It would be great if other publishers were now to publicly declare that Amazon's demands are unacceptable, and simultaneously they should begin to develop alternative and creative avenues to sell their books. Do not think about a quick buck, think about the future! And do not allow Amazon to bully you into submission!

Amazon makes 16% of all book sales in the UK, and 30% in 2007, and it is likely that Amazon will become the largest bookseller in the UK within the next 3 years, if , and only if, publishers continue to meet Amazon's demands for increased discounts for books. Do not allow this to happen because the casualties will be independent booksellers, publishers, writers, proof-readers, designers, book buyers, and so on, leading ultimately to loss of jobs in the book trade and industry.



This situation is not new, but ongoing, and it sends chills up the spines of the New York publishers. If Amazon is successful in obtaining a larger discount then what next? For anyone who believes that Amazon doesn’t have much bigger intentions then in my opinion you would be mistaken. I realize, as many of you have commented to me before, you cannot replace Amazon. However, you can establish alternatives, new markets, central locations where buyers can find Independently published books. That my friends, would be Nothing Binding. Of course I continue to plug the site, but keep in mind, it’s free!




LOS ANGELES (AP) - As publishers pray for a new children's series to equal

Harry Potter and await the next novel by "The Da Vinci Code" author Dan

Brown, a report released Friday predicts a tight market for at least the

next few years.

The Book Industry Study Group, a nonprofit organization supported by the

publishing industry, projects a 3 percent to 4 percent growth through 2011,

when revenues should top $43 billion. The BISG expects little change in the

actual number of books sold and sees a drop in the general trade market by

more than 60 million, from 2.282 billion copies in 2007 to 2.220 billion in


"The hits will keep doing well, but other books will have troubles," says

BISG senior researcher Albert N. Greco, a professor of marketing at the

Fordham University Graduate School of Business.

The findings were announced at Book Expo America, held last month at

the Los Angeles Convention Center.

Barring another Potter-like phenomenon, Greco believes the children's market

will barely break even. Modest gains are projected in most adult categories,

although that could change once Brown comes out with his long-awaited

follow-up to "The Da Vinci Code." No release date has been set for the

novel, which also features protagonist Robert Langdon, a Harvard University

professor who interprets symbols.

The biggest losers likely will be mass market paperbacks, which continue to

plunge as baby boomers seek formats with larger print, while religious books

should keep growing, by more than 5 percent annually.

The hottest market, according to the industry study group, isn't books, but

standardized tests, boosted by the requirements of the No Child Left Behind

legislation. Growth of 8 percent or better is expected through at least


"It's the one sector, without a doubt, that's really going to expand," Greco




Jerry is a former publishing executive with 25 years New York experience. He is the author of WHAT WRITERS NEED TO KNOW ABOUT PUBLISHING, as well as a publishing - book consultant and professional speaker. is his website where you will find a lot of free information.

Jerry helps writers and authors in various stages of publication and offers a variety of services “from manuscript to marketing.” For more information or to learn more, email for a free 20-minute consultation, .

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