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06 November 2006

Basic Remarks Re: Bookselling Today

A user remarked:

Some people make a living from selling on the net, but you would have to get a good supply of books.

My reply to him was:

I know, I've researched it. The long tail thing is not the answer it appears to be superficially. Adam Smith had more of it right about markets with too many sellers and too few buyers: prices fall.

The shift from selling a book every two days from a stock of 1,000 (circa 1998) to one every 3 or 4 days goes into the equations. The website intermediaries taking 15% to 20% plus a minimum fee for books under $10 plus a subscription of $45 to $60 a month is now a big bite out of booksellers' profits. On top of it all, traffic through the doors by warmbodied buyers seems to be declining in North America for the standard used bookstore (exceptions are fewer than you might think, i.e., campus-based sellers see more students buying textbooks online from competitors or just using photocopy materials for class).

I'll blog all this (with details and links to documents) on Cheap Priceless Editions @ the blog:

Cheap Priceless Editions - Book Blog

SEE This POST Cheap Priceless Editions: Constructing My Blog

For a bookstore with a 40% Internet-based trade and 60% through the door, the number of titles needed to be stocked and inventoried EXCLUSIVELY for the virtual E-commerce market can easily approach half a million. Everything depends on the overhead and staff that must be paid and the owner's need to put food on his or her table by selling books!

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