It's the first day of December, Black Friday has passed, and even though we're in the midst of some pretty grim economic news, I doubt too many folks are planning on skipping the holidays this year. The Editorial Ass blog discusses What Went Wrong in October in Book Publishing, concluding that basically it's the fault of an industry that allows returns. Which meant that "in October, bookstores returned so many books that most publishing companies had more coming into them than going out of them. For some companies, the incoming number was more than several months' outgoing."
As to how to solve the crisis, and for anyone who cares about the book publishing industry and wants to do their part, The Editorial Ass decrees that there's one simple action step: buy a book this weekend. Just buy one.
Instead of going to the library this one week buy the book you were going to read--it might only be a difference of a couple of bucks in the end. One day this week, make a peanut butter sandwich, skip going out for lunch, and buy a paperback.
Got an anniversary? Skip chocolates; fiction is sexy.
Got a non-reading friend with a birthday? Buy them a book and tell them it's high time they got over it. Or, more kindly, that you're doing it to sponsor your own future writing career. Or blame me if you must; I can take it.
It doesn't matter what. It doesn't have to be a literary fiction hardcover. If could be a $5.99 mass market nutrition guide, a $4.99 young reader chapter book, a Harlequin romance. Your money will still prevent returns of other books--literary fiction is usually the first to go--and will trickle down to the publishing companies, who will then be more likely to be able to afford to publish unprofitable literary fiction. Even if it's not by your favorite author or your favorite publishing house, your favorites will be indirectly affected.
It doesn't matter where. Sure, buying at the chains will help against the returns, but you can help out the publisher with your purchase no matter how you get it, even on the internet."
So there you go. Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to buy everyone on your Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or Festivus list this year a book. You'll even save gas going from one store to the next AND most book stores have gift wrapping. Voila--she is done!