David Mandl on Fri, 26 May 2000 15:39:10 +0200 (CEST)

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

<nettime> "Most titles they stock serve essentially as wallpaper"

NEW YORK (AP) -- The rise of superstores in the 1990s has helped
best-selling books at the expense of less commercial, more literary works,
according to a study commissioned by the Authors Guild. 

In 1986, best-selling hardcover titles accounted for about 7 percent of
all hardcover sales, according to the 59-page report released Thursday. By
1996, that figure had nearly doubled, to 13 percent. 

``The dramatic advent of superstores and online booksellers has made the
book business more like the rest of consumer retailing: There is a smaller
number of bigger winners than there used to be,'' said author Nicholas
Lemann, chair of the guild's Midlist Study Group. 

Superstores such as Borders and Barnes & Noble, which usually have much
more space than independent sellers, are credited with offering a greater
variety of ``midlist'' titles. They're also criticized for favoring
high-profile books and large publishers. 

``A close look at superstore sales patterns suggests that most titles they
stock serve essentially as wallpaper,'' the study says. ``If there is a
single reason why midlist book sales are lagging, it is the chains'
merchandising policies.''

The report is at: 


Dave Mandl

#  distributed via <nettime>: no commercial use without permission
#  <nettime> is a moderated mailing list for net criticism,
#  collaborative text filtering and cultural politics of the nets
#  more info: majordomo@bbs.thing.net and "info nettime-l" in the msg body
#  archive: http://www.nettime.org contact: nettime@bbs.thing.net