Have you ever discovered a great book while randomly browsing the shelves of your favorite used bookstore? Craig Small built the “Biblio-Mat” for The Monkey’s Paw in Toronto, a machine that reproduces this experience and automatically gives your a random...
If distribution means getting books into the hands of sellers, circulators or readers, then a true profile of the distribution business would cast a wide net, beginning at the binding line and continuing through to the ‘long tail’ of online portals, used bookstores and curbside pushcarts. However, if distribution, from the publisher’s view, means getting books to generate sales revenue, we can overlook all of the aftermarket, recirculation and reselling channels and focus solely on reaching stores, libraries, online and catalog warehouses and—increasingly, thanks to the Internet—direct marketing from the publisher to the consumer. In the article “Deconstructing Distribution,” in Book Business’
If there’s ever a good time to talk about the state of book distribution, this would be it. Right now, everyone is abuzz about changes occurring within the system thanks in part to the July release of Chris Anderson’s “The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More.” Anderson, editor of Wired magazine, declares the demise of common culture and cites occurrences called “long-tailed distributions,” or distributions to a greater number of smaller markets, rather than one, big mass market. According to Anderson, this helps distributors since they are no longer cut off by bottlenecks of distribution, such as limited