Publisher and former Conservative Party politician Iain Dale has hit out at the big booksellers, including W H Smith, Waterstones and Amazon, saying they have publishers "over a barrel". Speaking at the Independent Publishers Guild conference this morning (7th March) Dale also repeated a call he made ten years ago to abolish "sale or return".
Dale, founder of the political publisher Biteback Publishing, reserved his harshest criticism for W H Smith, which he said was "very willing to take publishers' money and sell no books in return".
The HMV Group made a profit of 11.5m from the sale of book chain Waterstone's, but the fillip did not prevent the CD and DVD retailer sinking further into the mire with operating losses for the six months to end-October up 25% to 30.4m after sales fell 18%. Total sales were 364.9m, down 17.6% on 2010 (442.7m). Like for like sales for the first half were down 11.6%, compared with a 15.5% drop in 2010. HMV sold Waterstone's to Alexander Mamut for 53m in June, and also sold HMV Canada at the same time. The trading loss from these