Originally Posted by Apache
This is nothing new in retail. Grocery Store Chains get paid big bucks by Vendors, for prime shelf space.
The publishers already do the same with B&N, paying for preferred placement for their intended bestsellers. But they only offer the "standard" volume discounts for midlist titles.
B&N wants preferred payment just to carry the midlist. So as long as S&S doesn't cough up the cash, they won't carry the titles. Since those aren't the big bucks "bestsellers" the margins are a lot lower and there isn't much money to dish out even if they are carried in the big stores.
Publishers have already raised the minimum sale bar for retaining midlist authors so they'll either have to raise prices (leading to reduced sales) or raise the sales volume bar again (dropping authors). Easy to see why S&S has been balking.