Below is an interesting article on the demise of one independent publisher, which is to cease trading next year. It explains how the book trade affects independent publishers who cannot afford to pay the fee the large retailers require to promote their titles. Many people don't realise that when they see a book promoted in one of the major high street retailers such as W.H. Smiths, Borders or Waterstones the publisher is paying for that promotion. I was at a meeting of publishers last year where a publisher relayed that he had been asked to pay £70,000 to Smiths for them to promote one title in their stores. Of course, the independent publisher couldn't afford this. Many independent publishers rely on creating word of mouth for their titles and on-line promotions to stimulate demand, and authors today need to do a considerable amount of marketing to raise their profile and generate book sales.
The titles that the public see continually promoted and available on supermarket shelves are there because the publisher has paid to get them there. This doesn't mean they aren't good books-many are. The publisher will pay for the promotion because he or she is pretty confident they will get a return on their investment. This is business after all. Sometime they get a return and sometimes they don't!
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