The Beginning of the End for A&R Bookshops?

The mainstream media has been reporting, over the past week, a strange letter from Charlie Rimmer, Group Commercial Manager for Angus and Robertson bookshops, to a number of Australian independent publishers. In essence, this letter states that A&R will no longer take books from small suppliers for sale in their bookshops, without the payment of a fee to offset the suppliers' "unacceptable profitability". Books such as this year's Miles Franklin Award winner, Carpentaria by Alexis Wright published by Giramondo Press, will no longer be available in A&R bookshops. It all seemed a little strange to me at first. But I'm coming to the conclusion that we are probably witnessing the beginning of the end for A&R bookshops here in Australia. If you go into any of their outlets you will be, to put it bluntly, pretty bored by the product on display. Sure all the big sellers are there from all the big publishers, but each store looks the same. They've all become a version of a mass-produced product; hardly recognisable as a bookshop at all.

Now "The Sydney Morning Herald" as printed the original letter, and a reply from one of the small suppliers affected by A&R's decision. It does not make for pretty reading.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on August 10, 2007 11:36 AM.

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