President’s Column:
The Distribution Challenge

October 2002
by Don Tubesing

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We’ve been asking PMA members to identify the most difficult problems they face, and we keep hearing the same comment over and over again– “distribution; my biggest problem isdistribution!” Early on, I politely nodded my head to communicate that I, too, understood the problem. Lately, I’ve been rethinking and am no longer sure that I do understand. While I want to remain sympathetic, let me raise a few iconoclastic challenges regarding this “distribution problem” that I hope will be helpful. Perhaps these observations will irritate you. (“He doesn’t know the unfairness I am facing.”) But perhaps they will stimulate your thinking. (“Yes, there are a lot of other ways to sell my books.”) Maybe they will even help you take more active charge of selling your books in new ways. (“Hey, I can make this happen. I am not a pawn of the book trade system.”) Whatever your reaction, I do invite your response.

 

What Is This “Distribution Problem”?

Is the problem not having a distributor? Is it that a key chain buyer won’t put a particular book into stores nationwide? Or that the independent bookstores aren’t ordering it? Or that stores won’t stock enough copies? Or that the big warehouse clubs haven’t picked it up? Or that the returns are too high?

All of these definitions of the problem rest on the assumption that the trade book system is TH…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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