From The Independent:
War is said to be the mother of invention – and in the increasingly bitter battleground of publishing, bookshops have a new weapon.
Anyone who buys the new Joanne Harris paperback Peaches for Monsieur le Curé from Waterstones will find it contains an extra chapter not included in copies sold elsewhere, after the book chain signed an exclusive deal with the author.
The chapter, which Harris says can be read either as an epilogue or as “the prologue to an as-yet-unwritten story”, may not be central to the plot of Peaches, which is a follow-up to her best-selling Chocolat. But Waterstones hopes that the extra material will be enough to persuade Harris fans to shun Amazon and other web retailers in favour of a trip to the High Street.
The promotion is one of several innovative marketing tactics – many involving so-called “bonus material” – being adopted by booksellers in an attempt to compete with cut-price online rivals.
Foyles recently sold copies of Alexander McCall Smith’s novel Trains and Lovers with a small booklet containing an extra short story by the author.
. . . .
But it is not merely nostalgia for the high street bookshop that is compelling authors into offering these deals. “One of the buzzwords in publishing and bookselling is ‘discoverability’,” Mr Tivnan added.
“Authors are unanimous on this. The place to discover a new book is not on Amazon. It is browsing through a bookshop or a library. Physical bookshops have to survive. Authors and publishers really want to keep bookshops and libraries open. Particularly mid-rank authors, lower down than Joanne Harris or Ian Rankin [who added a bonus essay to a bookshop-only version of a recent novel].”
Link to the rest at The Independent and thanks to Dinah for the tip.
PG was interested to see that mid-rank authors in Britain are supposedly in favor of this marketing gimmick since mid-list authors in the US are no longer found in Barnes & Noble and other physical bookstores at all.