Author Topic: And then there were 4...Penguin buying Simon  (Read 2498 times)  

Offline markpauloleksiw

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Re: And then there were 4...Penguin buying Simon
« Reply #25 on: November 30, 2020, 08:36:04 am »
In my local Montreal paper, they ran a review of a collection of Atwood poems published by MacMillan. Let's just say the review was not glowing. Like the old music album where there was chart topper and a bunch of fillers.

If you came from another planet and landed in Canada, you would think there was only one author who ever existed...Such is the power of the soon to be extinct trad publishers.

BTW. The sad part is a lot of very reputable small Canadian presses that are about or have gone under.

Mark

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    Offline Louise Bates

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    Re: And then there were 4...Penguin buying Simon
    « Reply #26 on: November 30, 2020, 09:00:24 am »
    If this merger goes through, I suspect the immediate result will be that it becomes that much harder to get a traditional publishing contract. My hope is that that very difficulty will lead to a better market, as more small presses open up in defiance and more agents start working with said small presses and more bookstores start carrying their books.

    I'm aware that's a naive hope--but the alternative is too grim to contemplate.
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    Offline ShayneRutherford

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    Re: And then there were 4...Penguin buying Simon
    « Reply #27 on: November 30, 2020, 10:52:53 am »
    If this merger goes through, I suspect the immediate result will be that it becomes that much harder to get a traditional publishing contract. My hope is that that very difficulty will lead to a better market, as more small presses open up in defiance and more agents start working with said small presses and more bookstores start carrying their books.

    I'm aware that's a naive hope--but the alternative is too grim to contemplate.

    There's no reason that some small presses couldn't start up. But they would have to be real businesses with real business plans and proper budgets if they wanted to succeed. They would need to advertise, and they would need to have good covers and decent editing, which seems to be more than a lot of small presses have. That said, it's really hard for small presses to get their books on store shelves, because most stores want the books to be returnable, and to have a 55% discount. And if the press does manage to get some books on the shelves, if they don't sell in the first month or two, the stores will return them to clear that shelf space for new books.
             

    Offline markpauloleksiw

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    Re: And then there were 4...Penguin buying Simon
    « Reply #28 on: November 30, 2020, 01:53:24 pm »
    In Canada it is almost impossible for a small press to get their books in retailers. Simply because the largest retailer is run by what really is a monopoly out of Toronto (indigo)...that is close to the large publishers.

    Mark

    Offline Crystal_

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    Re: And then there were 4...Penguin buying Simon
    « Reply #29 on: November 30, 2020, 02:50:41 pm »
    To be fair, if you asked most Americans to name a Canadian author, they would either say Atwood or stare blankly.

    I'm sure you have a lot of great authors in Canada, but I certainly can't name any of them (not counting the many Canadian indie authors I know personally).

    Offline Indy Strange

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    Re: And then there were 4...Penguin buying Simon
    « Reply #30 on: November 30, 2020, 03:38:22 pm »
    There's no reason that some small presses couldn't start up. But they would have to be real businesses with real business plans and proper budgets if they wanted to succeed. They would need to advertise, and they would need to have good covers and decent editing, which seems to be more than a lot of small presses have. That said, it's really hard for small presses to get their books on store shelves, because most stores want the books to be returnable, and to have a 55% discount. And if the press does manage to get some books on the shelves, if they don't sell in the first month or two, the stores will return them to clear that shelf space for new books.
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    Offline chrisstevenson

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    Re: And then there were 4...Penguin buying Simon
    « Reply #31 on: November 30, 2020, 03:39:11 pm »
    Guerrilla Warfare For Writers (special weapons and tactics)
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    Offline Simon Haynes

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    Re: And then there were 4...Penguin buying Simon
    « Reply #32 on: November 30, 2020, 05:58:59 pm »
    Apparently bookstores get paid for the better placements too, such as big displays on tables up front and the like. (And the big promos with huge piles of books and posters all over the place - paid for by the publisher.)

    Small press can't match that, so it's two copies on the shelves down the back somewhere, and here, you can have them back at the end of the month.

    Now imagine were we'd be without the internet and online retailers. I still remember those days with total despair, and will take the current situation with ebooks + AMS ads any day. To be able to publish from my house in the suburbs of Perth, Western Australia, and reach readers all over the world - that's just awesome. 20 years ago it was a futuristic dream.

     

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    Offline jb1111

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    Re: And then there were 4...Penguin buying Simon
    « Reply #33 on: November 30, 2020, 06:05:23 pm »
    This article claims the merger is a competitive response to Amazon's market dominance -- https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/11/penguin-random-house-simon-schuster-monster-about-amazon/617209/.

    The article states that Amazon publishes 49% of all new books, while the newly merged company would account for about 33% of them. (Unfortunately the article doesn't precisely define what it means by "new books".)

    What ever happened to the days when the US enforced its anti-trust laws?

    The linked article says that Amazon sells 49% of books, not that it publishes 49% of them. So its dominance is mainly over book retail. I'm not sure if a 50 percent chunk of a particular retail sector (like book sales) is a monopoly deserving of anti-trust investigations. Apple had a huge chunk of music sales for a decade, and they were left alone. So, I'll leave it to government agencies or other people to decide that issue -- it's past my pay grade.

    As for the impetus behind the consolidation? I think it's obviously money. And maybe the drop in sales and fiction book revenues has led some to sell to the highest bidder, as Houghton Mifflin Harcourt may be doing, according to the article I found in a publishing periodical. Consolidation has been going on in other industries, particularly the entertainment industry. I suppose the book publishing industry couldn't be immune to it.

    I can see why some big pubbers are wary of Amazon. When a company has half the retail in your industry, that's indeed a lot of leverage. But on the other hand it seems the big pubbers have been able to deal with Amazon OK. And I also don't see them setting up their own retail alternatives, when you'd think they'd have thought of that option. Maybe they have, and figured that it wouldn't work.

    Offline Corvid

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    Re: And then there were 4...Penguin buying Simon
    « Reply #34 on: December 01, 2020, 03:06:29 pm »
    In Canada it is almost impossible for a small press to get their books in retailers. Simply because the largest retailer is run by what really is a monopoly out of Toronto (indigo)...that is close to the large publishers.

    Mark

    Yep, Canada's a racket, and always has been. Publishing very much included.


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