Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Indigo Blues...

Sober so-con Paul Tuns' book Jean Chretien: A Legacy of Scandal isn't in Chapters/Indigo bookstores, but it's not because the chain is owned by Liberal fundraiser Heather Reisman as some conspiracy-minded conservatives have posited. On the Western Standard, Tuns explains:
The simple reason that the book is not available through Chapters or Indigo is that the company's terms are prohibitive for small publishers: they want to pay a mere 40% of the retail price (and sometimes less), won't pay a cent for the books until 6-8 months after they sell their first copy of the book and want the right to return unsold books less than a year after they receive the first order. (Note: the 40% takes into effect Chapters-Indigo's percentage as not just wholesalers but as distributors.) The problem is, as I've already said, these terms make it impossible for small publishers to make a profit -- the little capital they have is put into the physical production of a book that they won't see payment for until at least half-a-year later. Some publishers are willing to do that for exposure but some, including Freedom Press (Canada) Inc., are not.
Something to think about next time you're perusing Heather's Picks instead of visiting your local independent. A free market approach to bookselling is not always the best for the free market of ideas...

Anyway, reading Tuns' follow-up to this on his personal blog, I was interested to come across this misleading quote from Reisman from a CP story:
While Reisman did not comment on her ties to Chretien or the Liberals, she called the accusations "ludicrous," adding the company simply wasn't aware of the book's existence.
'I was hugely offended because it wasn't so much a shot against me, you know that happens, as it was a shot against the people who work in this company,' she said. 'First of all, I don't choose those books, so nobody comes to me and says "will you carry this or not"?'
Curious, because Reisman obviously has some say in what is carried in the Political Philosophy or History sections since she personally ordered Mein Kampf out of all her bookstores in 2001... If she is "hugely offended" by accusations that she doesn't sell certain books because of her personal politics then she shouldn't not sell certain books because of her personal politics...

(Sorry to lump you in with Hitler there, Tuns.)

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