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The (Real) Future of Publishing

27 January 2016

From Digital Book World blog opinions:

Everything being said about the state of publishing is (relatively) true—but not everything that is true is being said, as there are data points and trends being left out of the broad discussion. I’d agree that ebook growth has slowed down for many of the major houses, and that it now accounts for 20-25 percent of their revenues.

. . . .

If we are painting the landscape with a broad brush, there are some significant shifts that have gotten mysteriously little attention. A few worth noting include:

• The U.K’s biggest publisher, Penguin Random House, is closing its largest distribution center and is citing the reason as “an increase in the people reading ebooks.” In the last sentence of the article, it states that print sales were down 5 percent while ebook sales were up 11 percent.
• According to the New York Times, Ron Boire, the new CEO of Barnes & Noble, is leading a push to rebrand the company as a “lifestyle brand,” which includes removing more print books and expanding its offerings in games, toys and other gadgets. Sales are down 4.5 percent for the same quarter year-over-year, and the Barnes & Noble stock is down 20 percent. The company plans to close an additional 10 stores next year.
• Wal-Mart has announced that it is committing $2 billion to expanding its digital footprint in 2016. The company is exploring new digital channels and opportunities in an effort to innovate at a speed similar to Amazon’s. This will most certainly affect all forms of media, including physical books and ebooks.
• In 2015, readers borrowed more than 169 million ebooks from libraries, a 24-percent increase over 2014. This is a record number and a significant increase.

Link to the rest at Digital Book World blog opinions and thanks to Jan for the tip.

There’s also the Costco index at PG’s Costco store. The amount of floor space devoted to selling books is about 20% of what it was 2-3 years ago. Sometimes it’s even smaller. Author book signings were formerly a regular Saturday feature at PG’s Costco. He hasn’t seen one of those in a year or more.

Has anyone seen a large national retailer increase the amount of floor space devoted to printed books in the last couple of years? Barnes & Noble certainly has not. BN’s bookselling floor space has been decreasing at startling rate.

Retailers vote on the success or failure of products with floor space. That’s why the checkout line at the last BN PG entered was lined with geegaws and gimcracks, not books.

Big Publishing and bookstore owners are quite public about their deep emotional commitment to the idea that ebook sales have leveled off and won’t seize more market share from print.

PG calls it an emotional commitment because it’s not really a rational response to the realities of the growing ebook market and declining print market. It’s not PG’s job to solve tradpub and bookstores’ problems, but he suggests denying reality is not a good strategy.

Big Publishing, Ebooks

48 Comments to “The (Real) Future of Publishing”

  1. I found this article interesting, though when I got to the “And the next wave could forever change publishing.” part I was thinking, “Wait, hasn’t publishing been forever changed already? Did I miss something, or did you?” :,

    • I just hope the next wave they’re thinking isn’t the tsunami.

      • @ Bill

        Too late! It’s the Tsunami of Crap that all the self-pubbers are now unleashing on the world.

        Better head for high ground! 🙂

        • Heh. I take it you’ve never noticed some of the things trad-pub have pushed out claiming they were ‘culture’ only to have them flop? (Good thing I had a long-handled plunger …)

          Yes, there are some real ‘turds’ out there, but there’s also some solid gold — and the trad-pubs can’t tell which is which either it seems.

          .

          A conference is a gathering of important people who singly can do nothing but together can decide that nothing can be done. — Fred Allen

  2. FWIW, there’s been a change in my book buying habit since I signed up for Bookbub and BookGorilla. I’m picking up free and 99 cent books by authors I like, including Rex Stout, Lawrence Block (who is giving away a book a day this week; check his website for details), Monty Python (oral history book), Terry Pratchett, Eric Idle’s novel, and Louisa Locke’s book. I’m also checking out ebooks from the Philly Free library (which, because I have a non-Wi-Fi Kindle Touch, means I keep the file after it expires.

    We’re still buying books from Abebooks for our various research projects, and relying on the library as well.

    I can’t remember the last time I was in a B&N, although I visit the local Indy store and used bookstore frequently.

    Unfortunately, I can’t buy new books until I’m selling more books so we don’t rely on savings as much. Maybe next year.

  3. Has anyone seen a large national retailer increase the amount of floor space devoted to printed books in the last couple of years?

    No. Target’s remodel in 2012 (which is about the time they stopped selling Kindles) took books from three and a half full aisles to a half aisle. Walmart is down to a quarter aisle. Kroger’s nationwide remodel has books down to a four-foot section with little to no mmpb presence.

    Heck, even DH’s hometown has gone from six new and used bookstores to a tiny BAM at the dying mall, which uses half the space for collectibles and toys, and a Christian bookstore that only has twelve feet of book space amid 1200 sq. ft. of knick knacks. The closest big box store is the B&N in Toledo, which is an hour away. And neither publishers nor retailers can understand why folks like me shop at Amazon?

  4. Oooh, what if Walmart started selling indie ebooks?

    • They probably won’t. No money in it.

      I pay attention to how grocery stores and Walmarts stock books and what type of books they stock. In my town, they carry basically three types of books: Guaranteed best sellers (whatever is the hot blockbuster of the day ie Twilight, Hunger Games, etc.); gift books (children’s books, cookbooks, etc.); and genre paperbacks for power readers who buy one or more books a week.

      Over the past few years the shelf space has been drastically reduced. The biggest reduction has been in genre paperbacks. Where stores once carried 100s of titles, now they carry dozens. This makes sense. Power readers are buying ebooks. It makes sense for stores to reduce inventory since the impulse buyers are now impulsively buying elsewhere.

      I imagine that in a year or two, my local stores will have one or two end caps filled with blockbusters, a small number of “gift” books and no mass market paperbacks at all.

      • The local WalMart carries lots of self-help and “spiritual” books, usually in trade paperback, and a few bestsellers. Nothing I would even stop to look at.
        They’d be better off using the 8 feet shelf space for word search and sudoku magazines.

    • Article speculates that Wal-Mart’s new digital footprint will include ebooks, but how can they compete in this era of agency pricing?

      • Farming it out to Kobo?

      • I’m guessing they would have a different contract with Walmart, which either gave Walmart the right to discount or required the publishers to price Walmart ebooks lower than Amazon ebooks. I don’t think there’s any law that says you have to have the same wholesale price for every retail outlet. Unless there is if course. (Which is why I’m only guessing).

        This might be a way for publishers to take some business away from Amazon. If Walmart’s website was as easy to navigate, their customer service as responsive, their shipping as fast, etc., that is.

        • Under the agency model, there is no wholesale. Publishers set the price for their ebooks — then pay the retailer a set percentage for selling them. I’ve read that the percentage is 30-ish percent.

          • Yup, agency, the gift that keeps on giving — or in this case taking from the pig5 that insisted on it. By going agency they can’t cut anyone any ‘sweetheart’ deals, so the only difference is how easy it is for readers to find/buy it — and ‘everyone knows’ that Amazon makes it easy. And unless Wally-World cleans up their act, ebooks will be a non-started.

            Of course they may offer indie/self publishers a better deal — or ‘bargain’ for the buyer, but I wouldn’t bet money on either happening.

            • Thanks, Patricia and Allen. So am I wrong in thinking publishers can have an agency contract with one retailer but have a different kind of contract with another?

              • That was the whole reason for agency, Apple didn’t want anyone else (Amazon) to be able to undercut them and sell the same item for less.

  5. Al the Great and Powerful

    Whenever I see an article from Digital Book World I wonder who their constituency is, because they don’t seem to like or support ebooks. Just seems kind of a disconnect between what they say and what they are called.

    If truth-in-advertising were required, I’d think they would be called “Traditional Printed Publishing World” or maybe “Annals of Traditional Publishing.”

  6. The number of independent bookstores has risen steadily over the past five years, and UK titan Waterstones removed their Kindle display because they made more money with print books, and customers wanted them.

    Anecdotally, I hear young readers expressing a frustration with screens and a desire for paper.

    As with all statistics and swaths of inquiry, a lot depends on whom you are asking and where you look.

    I don’t feel certain or sanguine about much of anything, but I would say that where digital reading habits versus print ones ultimately come to lie is far from certain right now.

    • What I heard from UK ebook readers was that most Waterstones managers hid the Kindles way back in the deepest corners of their stores and made no effort to sell them.

      • I’m not sure–the photo I saw had a display right up front near the register. But if you were speaking to ebook readers, that was the choir that’s already been preached to. The point I was trying to make is that we tend to find what we go looking for.

        If you want people who prefer print, doggedly avoid digital, they are there too. In what numbers isn’t clear (nor is it for those who prefer digital, available “statistics” notwithstanding). There are those who love both.

        I think there’s a place for both, personally, but time will have to tell.

        • Oh yes: right after they announced the deals they had the Kindles front and center that holiday season. Then they moved them to the back for the duration of the contract.
          Not that Amazon cared.
          They only signed the deal to outbid Nook.

        • And yes, of course there is room for both ebooks and pbooks; the question is how much room for each.

          The traditional publishers signed up for ebooks when they thought is would be solely a techie niche. They were totally surprised to see entire genres quickly become dominated by the ebook format and totally scandalized when those same genres quickly accepted indie authors as legitimate alternatives to their tradpubbed cousins.

          The thing is, purely on economic merit, ebook *should* be the dominant form because they are something like four times as profitable for publishers, even selling at lower prices than print. The “war” isn’t about economic merit or even consumer preference; it is about control over the marketplace. Publishing used to be an economy of scarcity with access to fibite retailer shelves being a choke point. In the ebook world there is infinite shelf space and there is no chokepoint for publishers to exert control.

          The ebook world is totally flat and democratic, as pure a meritocracy as humanity has yet seen, where the only figure of merit is visibility and visibility is mostly the result of capturing readers attention via good writing, good marketing, or both.

          For traditional publishers this world is a nightmare because they can’t do marketing worth beans (they are semi-competent at promotion but promotion isn’t marketing) and they have no idea beforehand if readers will or not like a book.

          They just keep hoping ebooks will go away like a bad dream so they can go back to being guardians of literature with hordes of supplicant authors lined up submissively.

          Might as well hope for flying pigs.

          • Felix, are you an indie author yourself, or a hybrid, or…?

            Your optimism is bright to see, but I haven’t experienced the indie world as the meritocracy you describe. I wish it were. Instead, the content deluge has made it harder for great indie books to be noticed–I speak to indie authors all the time about the effect of 2500 books being uploaded every day. Their income has been slashed, they are frustrated and fed up.

            A lot like traditionally published authors feel.

            I wish there were a perfect system, but for now I would say everyone on all sides is trying to figure out how to crack a very tough nut (mass media) with varying degrees of success.

            The gatekeepers and traditional publishers have their drawbacks, too. Unfortunately and fortunately, as with all things in life, there is no one answer.

            Not even an e book.

            • “The gatekeepers and traditional publishers have their drawbacks, too.”

              The very first drawback you can play as a game to see the odds of ‘winning’. We’ll assume you got an agent that at least got a publisher to ‘look’ at what you’re offering. Here’s the game part, take a coin (or ten coins) and flip it (them) ten ‘heads’ in a row (or all ten came up heads) and they accepted your offering (odds of winning are 1 in 1024).

              Remove three of the coins and flip for seven heads to see if they think you’re a 1%er. (odds 1 in 128)

              (any ‘tails’ means they showed you their backsides.)

              Now that you’ve made it this far with a publisher, you only need worry that the editor might trash/rewrite your story, the cover won’t scare people away, and that they don’t overprice so badly it doesn’t sell.

              It’s all a crap shoot, some are just better/luckier at it than others.

              .

              Certainly the game is rigged. Don’t let that stop you; if you don’t bet, you can’t win. — Robert Heinlein, “Time Enough For Love”

              • Allen, I haven’t run into any of the problems you mention with my own publisher. Editors are editors–they have no desire to be authors. They’ve enabled me to write the book I hoped to. Covers are an art, and one for which I personally have no talent. And while my ebooks are priced higher than indie releases, my readers have also been kind enough to consider them worth it. One day, I hope more people will.

                I’m guessing your experience hasn’t been the same, and I’m sorry for that. But I’d hate for bitterness to dominate this conversation…it’s only one side of that coin you refer to.

                • Not bitter so much as trying to point out that as we’ve seen on these pages ‘if’ you do happen to get ‘lucky’, you’ve also lost any and all control over your work.

                  “And while my ebooks are priced higher than indie releases, my readers have also been kind enough to consider them worth it.”

                  Are they by chance under the $9.99 Amazon suggests? If not then you indeed have some very devoted readers.

                  (and I’m going stack the deck as best as I can! Which means having at least ‘some’ control over the cards! 😉 )

                  .

                  Quality control, n.: Assuring that the quality of a product does not get out of hand and add to the cost of its manufacture or design.

            • Notice I said “closest”.
              I didn’t said it was a panacea.

              All indie publishing means is that what you get out of it is directly proportional to what you put in. It is all you.

              There’s plenty of people who relish that.

              • But closest is in the eye of the beholder, Felix. For me, indie publishing wasn’t closest–a decision I came to over 13 long years.

                What I say in workshops and talks is that there are three ways to publish now, with pros and cons to each, and figuring out which way is right for you will give writers their ideal path. For now, since these things can always change.

                • 13 years ago Indie publishing wasn’t a viable way to launch a career. (Unless you were John Grisham) So you chose wisely.

                  Today there are newer options:
                  You can still choose to *try* to go traditional.
                  If you’re good enough *and* lucky enough to find an agent you can still follow the Sue Grafton career path. (“Just perfect your craft and trust the universe to take care of you.”)
                  Nobody will stop you from trying.

                  But today nobody will stop you from hiring your own editor(s), hiring your own cover artist, and running your career as you see fit. That is the “democratic” aspect I mentioned above.

                  Each person can define success in *their* terms and decide how to try to get there. Fits right in with the US Declaration of Independence,too: the part about “pursuit of happiness”.

                  Of course, pursuing doesn’t necessary mean achieving.
                  Anybody can go ahead and do the best they know how to do and they can then reap the rewards they earned, which is the “meritocratic” aspect. They might suceed small or they might succeed big and either way nobody but them (and readers) decides if they are worthy to continue their pursuit.

                  You can ramp up a career as an Indie and be a success (for various definitions of success) in less time it takes to convince an agent that what you write will sell in large enough numbers to be worth their time. (Can. Not necessarily will. No guarantees.)

                  The main thing to remember is that there is a reason it is called Indie publishing: because it is independent. As in not dependent. 😉

                  Again, every person chooses for themself.
                  It’s all a matter of what goal they aspire to.

                  A lot of people relish the challenge of seeing how far they can go, all on their own. Win or lose, it will be 100% *their* success or *their* failure. Their achievement, shared with nobody.

                  No guarantees needed, really.

                  Some consider the prospect exhilarating.
                  “Some” includes obscure, nobody, me.
                  And quite a few other people I know.
                  (I move in… interesting circles for an engineer. Indie musicians, indie authors, indie car builders…)

                  It’s no different than somebody who chooses to build themselves a sailboat all by their lonesome and then take it out on a round the world cruise.
                  Just a whole lot cheaper.

                  All it takes is the right mindset.

          • “there is no chokepoint for publishers to exert control.”

            And that right there is their hate of Amazon. By selling indie/self publishers right next to the big boys’ e/books Amazon removed their ‘control’ over what was read.

            • This is for Allen F–Allen, I am published traditionally, and I didn’t lose “any and all control over [my] work.” In fact, I was the final say–if I wasn’t happy, we all got down to work again until I was–and took part in one of the more joyful creative processes I’ve ever had a chance to see.

              Lucky, for sure. I also worked 13 years to reach that point.

              No, my e books are priced higher than $9.99. You probably are aware of the battle between Amazon and the publishers over who sets pricing. As of now, my publisher does. I’m sure it’s cost me some readers, but am grateful there are others. And–BookBub helps draw those people who look for discounted digital books, so I’m grateful to them too.

              • I’m happy to hear that it’s working for you, though you say:

                “And–BookBub helps draw those people who look for discounted digital books, so I’m grateful to them too.”

                How does that work/help if your publisher isn’t discounting your ebooks? (and how much of a royalty hit do you take when/if they are discounted?)

                • Allen, my publisher will do a BookBub promotion. This means that for a short period–two weeks–one of my books is discounted. It’s done amazing things (got me very low down but on the USA Today bestsellers list, for example). I’m not sure how many of those readers then go on to pay full price for one of my other titles, though. My sense is the two readerships are made up of different people.

                  I don’t take any royalty hit–royalties are a percentage and that stays the same. But my % amounts to less on a $2.99 BookBub promotion than my usual $12.99 (give or take) e book, of course.

                  Anyway, as you can probably tell, I have mixed feelings about low pricing. Yes, digital books have few to no distribution costs. But the production costs are all the same (writing, editing, design). Quite honestly, I feel that all of us here, all we writers, put an awful lot of blood, sweat and tears into what we do. I’d like us to be handsomely paid for it 🙂

                • Thank you, Jenny, good information for all of us.

                  As far as the ‘mixed feelings about low pricing’, even that $2.99 discount on Amazon is a $2 cut for the self/indie publisher, and those ‘production costs (writing, editing, design)’ are all ‘one time’ charges — after those are paid off the rest is profit. And a lower price gives one a better chance of a new reader saying “Looks interesting — and I’m out less than a Starbucks drink if I don’t like it.”

            • This is for Felix (I can’t see a ‘reply’ button underneath his last comment…?) Anyway, I began trying to get published 16 years ago actually (I now have 3 novels out), and you’re right: self-publishing then wasn’t anything like it is now. However, John Grisham wasn’t John Grisham then, and pioneers like MJ Rose were anticipating this future and forging an indie pubbing path.

              I am a late adopter, and not a techie (as you might’ve figured out by now), and also, traditional publishing fit me for a whole different reason: I truly love being the content creator/talent and having a team behind me. Not everyone likes that. Some people prefer what you describe, being responsible/taking credit for the soup to nuts.

              The world changed while I struggled in the land of the unpublished, yet still indie publishing didn’t suit my personality or goals (Google “world’s longest book tour” and you may see why). Still, I reached the point where I was going to consider a very very very micro press, all but doing it myself. I had written 8 novels by then, gotten close to deals 15 times, worked with 3 agents.

              And then an author/fairy godmother stepped in.

              This isn’t an easy path, by far–but neither is indie. The reason I don’t see much about mass media on either side as a meritocracy is because great books (indie and trad) fail to rise while mediocre ones soar. There is luck and timing involved.

              If a writer can keep producing content, perhaps s/he’ll will be standing when the lightning strikes.

              • Well, “mediocre” tends to be a matter of taste.

                People have in recent times called mediocre books as varied as Harry Potter and 50 Shades but in both those cases the author did something no one had done before and found an audience nobody was addressing. That might be luck or a lightning strike (which are very painful, you know) or it might be the author had a vision and stuck with it. And the market rewarded them. The market, not the publishers. Because in the end, tradpub or Indie, it is the market that decides what is good, bad, or mediocre. Or, more accurately, readers decide what story and what appeals to them.

                Rowling famously spent years trying to find a publisher to buy into her vision. Today a Rowling class talent only has to convince readers to buy into her vision. Non-trivial, but a whole lot faster. Less obstacles between her and the readers.

                As I said, it is a matter of mindset: Indies are by and by entrepreneurial risk takers. They believe in their vision and are perfectly happy to take it straight to the electorate and let them vote their wallets.

                If you look at the whole of the Indie catalog on an ebookstore you’ll find that the distribution of titles by genre, sub-genre, and mix of genre is nothing like the pre-culled lists coming out of tradpub. Books that no agent would touch are reaching readers and pleasing readers tradpub didn’t even think existed. (That being the secret of 50 Shades; there really was an unserved market for “mommy porn” becsuse traditional publishing never considered there might be a middleground between “steamy romance” and all-out erotica.)

                The world of Indie books, like Indie movies and Indie music isn’t driven be a desire to find a mass audience (which is and will continue to be increasingly harder) but rsther sbout finding an audience that will “get” what you are doing.
                It is a world of niches within niches, of unfiltered “conversation” between authors and readers; of like minds finding each other in the open marketplace without matchmakers.

                Again, not for everybody.
                You have to totally believe in yourself and be willing to face the hard, harsh marketplace more or less alone.

                The good news, though, is you don’t have to meet somebody else’s definition of success or quality; all you need to find is an audience. And you don’t have to do it overnight or over the three months of the launch window. There is no game clock in the Indie game. You can try to build up brand and visibility slowly without fear of getting culled after the launch window expires.

                Consider this: a couple months ago, an Indie children’s book hit the upper reaches of the NYT children’s “bestseller” list. It got there through word of mouth, pleased parents recommending it, reviews, and ever-increasing visibility until its sales level exceeded most tradpubbed titles on the list. (It apparently outsold all children’s titles that week on other lists.) The next week it was nowhere to be found on the NYT list because the powers that be decided their list was “intended to highlight new releases”.

                It is doubtful the author cared enough to gripe; they were secure their book was delighting children all over.

                Different rules in Indie-land.
                No game clock, no referees, no analysts…
                Indies only need to please themselves and their readers.

                It makes life simpler and more focused, really. Less drama, too, according to the reports from the “Authors Guild” and other industry sources.

                To each their own.

                • For sure, infinite shelf life is an advantage to indie, as is the relative plasticity, which allows for experimentation and niche titles. Some of these even break out.

                  I’m not sure what “powers that be” you refer to–although the NYT list can be gamed in some ways, it doesn’t particularly highlight new releases (titles stay on for week and months). Do you have links about the story you’re referring to?

                  I continue to feel that it’s all too easy to wash away decades of entrenched wisdom publishers have amassed. I’ve seen the results from the inside, and they are a force to be reckoned with.

                  That said, it is “entrenched”. Doing things in new and novel ways is a sign of a healthy ecosystem, and indie publishing can certainly be part of that–as can the many new small and micro presses cropping up.

                • @ Jenny

                  “I’m not sure what “powers that be” you refer to–although the NYT list can be gamed in some ways”

                  What Felix means was the NYT (and those that it sides with — the pig5) couldn’t stand to see a non-trad-pub offering holding the top slot in anything — so they changed their so-called rules.

                  That’s another thing they have to hate about Amazon, in order to have Amazon say you’re a ‘best seller’ you actually ‘have to be a best seller’, no gaming Amazon’s system. So they can’t try to tell readers what they should be buying, no control.

                • Point of clarification:
                  Indie is not synonymous with self-published. Indie does include micro-presses, author coops, agent-mediated publishing and a variety of other permutations for non-traditional publishing. It most commonly comes down to who controls the exercise of the copyright for how long.

  7. Jenny, thanks for saying this. It mirrors my own experience. I first sold a full-length novel to a small press in 2002. I’ve since gone hybrid. Due to only slight promo on the part of small presses, and very little savvy on how to effectively market my indie books, I’ve sold only small numbers of each title. Small press or indie, doesn’t seem to make much difference.

    Self-publishing is no panacea.

    A perfect system for someone like me would be one in which a new release gets at least a modicum of visibility vis-a-vis the other thousands of titles that release every day. I think with greater visibility, people would get acquainted with the quality romance titles I strive to put out every time I write “Chapter One.”

    • Deb, it’s nice to cyber meet you. Take heart–I think we are all basically struggling here. For lots of reasons, but mainly…I think this game takes longer to “win” than we can imagine at the start (or than publisher want to admit). Especially as a romance writer–if you continue to put out books regularly, of the quality you’re aiming for, I bet you’ll build your readership, and one day, many people will know your name. I just think it takes time and consistency–and publishers, for financial reasons, have trouble allowing that.

  8. I have no problem pricing my self-published books low. They sell, which I appreciate. It’s a slow way to make money, but it does work.

  9. Allen, I do see that, and I’m glad it’s working well on your end (and others). I just hope we’re not either driving a race to the bottom, or creating a chasm between indie and trad books that because price is a signifier makes indie titles seem lesser somehow. You’re right–selling more for less is a good economic model.

    • Jenny, I don’t think we need worry about a race to the bottom. In the first bloom of ebooks, there was a lot of talk about everything 99¢. Instead the market price of indie ebooks seems to be settling between US$2.99 and US$6.99 (with outliers in both directions). Debut authors can price at US$2.99 to lower the barrier to trying something new. Shorter works can be priced lower, longer works higher. Established authors can demand more (but may choose not to as their income may be maximized at a lower price).

      No one dictated this price range. It has been arrived at by thousands of authors experimenting with prices in a market of millions of readers. Enough readers are willing to pay these prices to incentivize enough authors to produce enough works for the readers to consume. Like all price regimes in a free market it is a temporary balance, but it looks to be fairly stable in the short term.

      As for cheaper titles being lesser somehow, is The Lord of the Rings a lesser work if you bought it in paperback rather than hardcover? Or got it from a remainder table or a used bookstore? I don’t know any reader that rates stories by how much they cost.

      • That’s reassuring, Gordon. Thanks for the perspective.

        I’ve long loved used books, so I suppose my answer to your question would have to be no–it doesn’t affect their true value.

        I just want writers to be paid, and an awful lot of those I know are struggling.

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