Wednesday, June 18, 2008

My war against Angus & Robertson wanes...

Posted by lea at 1:25 PM
Oh I'm so weak! Show me a 75% off sale and I'll sell my ideals for the chance of a bargain.

That's exactly what Angus & Robertson has done and I capitulated, buying not one, but THREE books from them! This, after stating that I'd never buy from them again and telling everyone else I know not to either (not that I know anyone who actually listened).

And the reason for my war on A&R? They push independent book publishers out of business by forcing them to pay up if their books don't sell enough to warrant their shelf-space, on the threat that they'll stop selling their books at all. I'm sure they're not the first big retailer to flex their muscles in this way (after all, it IS a capitalist market), but HOW DARE THEY, right?

... I just wrote two paragraphs dedicated to a discourse on the role of retailers in the free market but then deleted it b/c it's just BORING. The fact is, any retailer doing this is, on one hand, seemingly money-grubbing and dirty-dealing. But on the other hand, the niggling thought is - perhaps they're just doing what they need to do to stay in business. So is it the fault of A&R or is it just the hamartia - the fatal flaw - of our modern capitalist business model? If they were to represent every under-selling independent book, they wouldn't be able to stay in business.

Am I just trying to justify my purchase? Will I put these books on a special 'blood books' section of my bookshelf? Is it enough if I only ever buy the bargain books and nothing of real value from them, b/c the bargain books contribute least to their profit margin?

... because COME ON, they were three very decent books that I bought for a total of $15.75 - unheard of!


Anonymous said...

what were the 3 books you sold your soul for?

lea on June 19, 2008 at 2:21 PM said...

Calculator Annie (a kids' book by Alexander McCall Smith, author of the awesome 'No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency' series), a fantasy by Dianna Wynne Jones from the Chrestomanci series (much better written than Harry Potter) and Isabel's Bed by Eleanor Lipman (an author with a satirical bent that lends humour and a sharp bite to her writing).

Was it worth it? I'll let you know after I've read them all...

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