I love independent bookstores. I love small presses. But before all others, I’m nuts about readers looking for something to read that they hadn’t thought about before reading one of our reviews. I can now say “our,” because at last count I have five other reviewers who will be helping to bring an ever-widening range of reviewed books to your attention.
So what’s the problem? Well, because of distribution (or lack of it) not all the titles we read and review may be available to your independent bookstores, but you all know where they are available. Small presses are often distributed by major publishing houses, while others are able to work through Ingram, a major distributor that is now also a publisher. Distributors can offer the big and small bookstores price breaks based on the number of books ordered, return policies, and pre-publication reviews and other sales incentives. Most independent presses, those whose purpose is to publish only, with no distribution package to offer their authors, leave the selling of the books to the authors, and that market generally means Amazon. To those authors, Amazon is the good guy. Hell, Amazon’s the good guy to me when my readers click through from this site to buy from Amazon.
But more and more independent bookstores are setting up their own affiliate programs and, since this little site is gaining in demographics, I’m hoping that visitors to our site might look to see if we are an affiliate of their local bookstore. In that case, they can click on that button and they’re home! And if you make a purchase, our website makes a bit of money as well. How that will show up on our site is a work in progress. Stay tuned.
If we review a book published by an independent press with no distributor, one that is dependent on Amazon for sales (one particular title is almost ready for review) I will so state.
Basically, the publishing business seems to be changing almost daily. I read all the notifications I can, but making sense of them is something else. What will not change is our commitment to you, the readers, and to the authors whose titles our reviewers think worth your time and money. –ss