Paulo Coelho and Juergen Boos at the Frankfurt Book Fair 2014

I think you can have 10,000 explanations for failure, but not a good explanation for success. — Paulo Coelho

People read books for two main reasons: entertainment or knowledge. — Paulo Coelho

Writer Paulo Coelho and Director of the Frankfurt Book Fair Juergen Boos talking about the future of publishing.

The Frankfurt Book Fair was established by Gutenberg.

300,000 people visit the Frankfurt Book Fair in five days.

Publishers are currently locked into a battle to the death with Amazon.

And as is often the case with such battles, both have right on their side.

Amazon are wrong when they try to push the price of books below that of viability for the publishers.

Publishers are wrong when they try to maintain artificial high prices for e-books.

It is an obscenity when publishers are demanding more than a dollar or a euro or a pound for an e-book, when the marginal costs are zero, or as near as zero.

Bandcamp makes music accessible. Listen on-line for free, low price to download, easy to share, and the money goes to support the creative artists who make the music.

What bandcamp does for music, leanpub does for books

More needs to be done to support indy bookshops, as these are the people who know about books, and yet they are denied a living when they are undercut on the price of best-sellers. Publishers should offer the same deal as to chains, and writers should demand this, we would then have a level playing field.

Libreria Palazzo Roberti

Libreria Palazzo Roberti

Fixed prices on books, has an advantage. In Bassano del Grappa there are several bookshops happily coexisting. They are able to co-exist, because there are no large chains undercutting them on price and forcing them out of businesses.

When there is heavy discounting, all that happens is books have an artificial cover price to make it look like readers are getting a bargain.

In the UK, WHSmith, a failing chain that sells books, deserves to go under. Adultery when published in August was on special offer at half price, and yet the staff did not know, often it was not in stock, when in stock (all of two copies), it was not on prominent display, and when sold, was not restocked. Staff then tried to claim it did not sell!

Adultery, latest book from Paulo Coelho, has jumped straight to No 1 in most countries in which it has been published. Germany has proved to be no exception.

Top Story Julie’s Publishing Ink (Monday 13 October 2014).

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