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Old 02-04-2013, 12:05 PM   #1
fjtorres
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B&N and S&S fighting over order terms

http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/b...ver-terms.html

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Simon & Schuster and Barnes & Noble are locked in a dispute over terms. Although the exact nature of the disagreement is not yet clear, B&N has significantly reduced its orders from S&S. The main reason for the cutback seems to be, according to sources, B&N's perceived lack of support from S&S.
Hmm... Less books orders means less books returned.
S&S might actually come out ahead with that kind of "pressure tactic".
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Old 02-04-2013, 12:55 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by fjtorres View Post
http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/b...ver-terms.html



Hmm... Less books orders means less books returned.
S&S might actually come out ahead with that kind of "pressure tactic".
If so, B&N will come out ahead, too. Cuz the only what that happens is if S&S books just don't sell. Seems unlikely.
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Old 02-04-2013, 02:59 PM   #3
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Or B&N wants S&S to provide in-store boutiques just like Penguin does.
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Old 02-04-2013, 05:25 PM   #4
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If so, B&N will come out ahead, too. Cuz the only what that happens is if S&S books just don't sell. Seems unlikely.
The current business model for B&M retail (everybody!) is to order as many books as you think *might* sell if all goes perfectly and the thing becomes a big success. And then, after 3 months, the stock is reduced to a few weeks worth of sales and the rest returned to the publisher.

All the estimates I've seen say that the average return rate on anything this side of Harry Potter is 50%. So if B&N cuts their orders from S&S by anything less than 50% S&S gets less returns and B&N gets to sell exactly the same number of books. (B&N sees no change in income but S&S comes ahead: same income, less returns to be remaindered.)

If B&N is doing this to flex ther retail muscle and "punish" S&S for not agreeing to their terms for "stocking charges" (aka, payola), they first need to reduce their orders by over 50% of their typical order for similar books, at which point B&N would be selling less S&S content and *if* B&N were the *only* way those books could get to consumers, *then* S&S would share equally in the "pain".

But in a world where people who walk into a B&N and fail to find a book they want just shrug and order it online (assuming they didn't go to Costco first), reducing the volume of books ordered is like a lashing with wet noodles; a lot of noise but no pain. ("I'm going to hold my breath until I die!")

For B&N to really get S&S's attention they would have to boycott *all* their books. Which is what Amazon does under similar conditions, bad-press be damned: You either go eyeball-to-eyeball or cave in.

Half-measures aren't going to get you anywhere.
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Old 02-04-2013, 05:30 PM   #5
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Or B&N wants S&S to provide in-store boutiques just like Penguin does.
That would be my first guess, yes.
Floorspace in those warehouses is pricey so B&N wants the BPHs to chip in with "promotional" budgets. (Indigo is doing that up north. Most supermarket chains, too.) You want your books featured on the tables near the checkout, you pay for favorable placement.

Otherwise, your books end up on the bottom shelf where nobody can see them and they use up floorspace without generating income for either side.
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Old 02-04-2013, 05:41 PM   #6
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Otherwise, your books end up on the bottom shelf where nobody can see them and they use up floorspace without generating income for either side.
Well, there's your boycott. Books not in store ... books hidden in store ... to the shopper same result.
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Old 02-04-2013, 05:55 PM   #7
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Well, there's your boycott. Books not in store ... books hidden in store ... to the shopper same result.
Not to the B&N accounting department, though.

More seriously: I don't know if it was corporate policy but my neighborhood B.Dalton stocked just one or two copy of their books on the near-eye-level shelves and reserved the bottom two shelves for extra copies. Us regulars learned to look low if we found gaps on a shelf.

Last edited by fjtorres; 02-04-2013 at 05:59 PM.
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Old 02-05-2013, 03:42 PM   #8
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assuming they didn't go to Costco first
Exactly! I haven't been in a B&N for a couple years, but I check out the books at Costco every week. Sometimes the prices are such that I just buy the pbook. A couple weeks ago, I saw No Easy Day on the new book table. It was $14.99, which I figured was probably the cost of the ebook. I didn't have to tote it around because I finished it that day. Then I gave it to my husband to read, and will be sending it to my FIL, all without breaking the law.
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