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Publishing News Roundup Series: Is it Good or Bad When Big Chains Buy Independent Bookstores?

by Maureen Crisp •  September 19, 2018  •   Follow

Published in News  •  No comments


It’s always sad to see an independent chain go when it sells off to a big chain.

Sometimes these stores can lose authenticity and that real community connection to their readers. On the other hand, could it sometimes be a good thing? Can it teach bigger stores the importance of the reader community? Can the authenticity be kept in the independent store once it is no longer independent? What does this mean for authors when all they have left to market to is big chain bookstores?


Are The Barricades Being Breached Yet?


In Publishing News this week…


The UK publishing scene is feeling a little nervous. The Waterstones chain of Bookshops has bought the Foyles chain of independent bookshops from the Foyle family. It could be a good thing… or … time will tell. (Already commentators are saying the goodwill of all parties may last only as long as the Waterstones CEO stays in his job.)


The EU parliament has voted to progress a controversial Internet copyright law. Free Speech may now not be so free. Publishers are cautiously optimistic. Internet watchdogs are not.


This of course has no bearing on Brexit at the moment. However Tara Sparling has raised some interesting questions about what happens to authors and publishers who publish into the UK after Brexit? Royalties… Contracts… Agents… Markets… At the moment she notes there is a big silence from the publishing community and there shouldn’t be. How will Brexit affect anyone publishing into the UK?


In wider news Audible has tweaked their offerings and are now giving two audio books away each month as well as selections from Bestsellers… Do they finally see some competition on the horizon?


I keep one eye on the academic publishing sector which has been very resistant to change in the digital publishing space. The Guardian’s top journalist George Monbiot shines the spotlight on the rip off that is the academic journal. I have heard rumblings about this for a few years now but things are about to change. (I hear the cheering from the students and the screams from the publishers…)


Kris Rusch has another interesting post on negotiations. She examines the perils of the Hollywood verbal contract. As she explains Johnny Depp’s lawsuits are going to be setting precidents in contract law that are long overdue. Hollywood is not above the law despite what they might tell you. This is a must read about contract negotiation.


Joanna Penn has reached her 7th anniversay milestone of freedom from the day job and she takes stock of all that she has learned. It’s a nice roundup and offer pointers for other creative authorpreneurs.


Jane Friedman has updated her evergreen post on 10 ways to build traffic to your website… How many are you doing?

In The Craft Section,

Start me up– Janice Hardy
Applying tv lessons to chapter hooks– Jami Gold – Bookmark
4 tips for stronger writing– Kathy Stinemann- Bookmark

In The Marketing Section,

12 effortless marketing tips– Bookbuzzr- Bookmark
Big Book Marketing blunders– Penny Sansevieri- Bookmark
Marketing uncovered– David Gaughran- Bookmark
Print On Demand books– a nice little comparison from Reedsy- Bookmark

To Finish,

Have you ever fallen out of love with your book?
Sarah Letourneau has written a great post When the fire goes out, what to do when this happens. Sometimes that book you were dying to write just remains dead no matter what you try to do to resusitate it. Sarah has some helpful strategies. Chuck Wendig has also been musing on this topic and as usual he has talked about trusting the process in his own special style.




About Maureen Crisp

Maureen Crisp has been writing her weekly publishing roundups for over seven years. She is a traditionally published children's author as well as indie-published. She lives in New Zealand and is heading the team organising the 4th National Conference of Children's Writers and Illustrators. She is currently trying her hand at writing a children’s book series if she can drag herself away from forever tweaking her Mars novel or obsessing over space.