Thursday, September 29, 2005

More on Used Books

Lots of interest in the BISG's Used Book Study.

Today, the Associated Press (AP) quoted the study, saying that about one out of every twelve books purchased last year was a used book. Within five years, that number is expected to be one out of every eleven. The AP says this is "a troubling trend when sales for new works are essentially flat; [and] authors and publishers receive no royalties from used buys."

Adam Rothberg of Simon & Schuster is quoted as saying, "Obviously, these are not statistics to warm the heart of publishers." Well, duh!!!

This is the first time that such a comprehensive effort has been made to study the used book market. The study already has credibility because all the major players in the used market were willing to contribute. These included Amazon, e-Bay, Barnes and Noble, Alibris, Powell's and ABE.

Jane Friedman, CEO of HarperCollins acknowledges the problems created by the increasingly powerful used market, but admits "she has no specific solution."

When the final study comes out next month, you can bet there will be a lot more discussion on this matter.

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