While flying to Oakland, California (from Hartford, Connecticut) last week, I had the opportunity to visit several airports. One thing in common is that they all had at least one bookstore, surrounded by a captive audience of interested—and sometimes weary—travelers looking for something to do to help pass time.
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’