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Book trade

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Book trade is an industry that deals with the production and sale of books , in particular printed works, e-books, and other forms of media also so-called non-books. The branch is divided into three branches or trade levels – the manufacturing book trade ( publishing book trade ) , book wholesaling (intermediate book trade) and book retailing ( retail book trade). In today’s linguistic usage in the industry, however, the term book trade only refers to the widespread book trade (intermediate and retail book trade).

Books have a special status as a cultural asset, which is supported by fixed book prices and the reduced VAT.

Librăria Cărturești
Source https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Libraria_Carturesti_Carusel_-_Interior_ziua.jpg 

(Cărturești Carusel, a bookshop in a historical building from Bucharest (Romania), built in 1860 as a bank. Its interior combines Baroque Revival architecture with modern design. )

Function of the book trade

The widespread book trade mediates books and other products from the publishers, often also so-called “non-books” such as stationery and gift items, to end customers. It transports the goods from the place of manufacture to the place of consumption. Warehousing in the intermediate and retail book trade bridges the time difference between production and the needs of the end consumer.

The book trade bundles the offers of many publishers and the diverse demands of end consumers and establishes contact between manufacturers and buyers, which lowers transport and transaction costs. He provides the infrastructure necessary for the handling of goods and services such as the assessment and selection of offers from the publishers as well as advising end customers in the retail book trade. Conversely, it provides suppliers from the publishing and intermediate book trade with information about customer needs and sales figures.

The retail book trade ultimately ensures the establishment of a monetary trade with receivables. In contrast to most other retail sectors, the price-setting function in some country book trade is limited to the producers of the goods – the publishers – due to fixed book prices. Exceptions to this are the second-hand bookshop and the modern second-hand bookshop.

Publishing book trade

The manufacturing book trade includes all businesses that produce and finance books, music sheet, pictures, maps, etc. A distinction is made between general publishers who cover a wide spectrum of topics with their products and specialist publishers who specialize in one or more subject areas.

With progressive group formation, many publishers belong to a publishing group and publish under their traditional name, but often no longer operate independently.

The publisher owns the rights to produce and distribute the books published by it. When a manuscript is accepted, a contract is concluded with the author, in which the author transfers the rights of reproduction, distribution and use to the publisher for an agreed fee. In return, the publisher undertakes to print, distribute and advertise. When the book is produced, usually the publisher determines the book title. It also determines in the publishing manufacture, the exterior design as typography, binding and dust jacket and sets the fixed retail price under the statutory book fixed prices and, if necessary, deduce from this the equipment of reading copies for advertising a title to reviewers and booksellers. All booksellers and other resellers in most countries are obliged to comply with this.

Publishing house representatives sell the products of the publishers to the bookstores. Today, however, the orders are less frequently processed through them than through direct data exchange. Representatives process inquiries regarding returns and inform the bookstores about new items and current titles, in short “Novi“, from the publisher’s area. He present the Spring program from January to Easter (end of the sales representatives’ trip), Autumn novelties (travel June to October / November), for Novi to the Frankfurt Book Fair in October and other book fairs. Publishing representatives can be employed of a publishing house or independent sales representatives of one or more non-competing publishing houses. For example, if they are able to carry out market research , the representatives provide early information about products from competitors and help to formulate book titles in a common way.

Permanent representatives also take care of administrative tasks that belong to the publishing house delivery, such as management of returns.

Intermediate book trade

The intermediate book trade (also: book wholesaling) includes all companies that are involved in the order and traffic of goods between the publisher and the retail book trade. Since the intermediate book trade does not publish any book, it belongs to the area of ​​the widespread book trade.

Bar assortment

Bar assortments supply the book (retail) dealers who are contractually bound to them on their own account and in their own name. They receive a wholesale discount from the publishers and sell to the booksellers at the usual book trade discount , thus achieving their profit margin.

Publishing deliveries

Publishing house deliveries are service companies that take on storage order acceptance and shipping for publishers. In contrast to the bar range , they usually act on behalf of, in the name of and for the account of the publisher, so they do not bear their own sales risk.

Purchasing cooperatives

Although there has been a strong tendency towards concentration in the book trade for years , there is a landscape of over 4,000 small and medium-sized bookstores offering either general or specialized ranges. The large bookstore chains obtain maximum discounts from the publishers for purchase and can also streamline their administrative tasks considerably. However, if there is no competition on price due to the eventually fixed book price, there are options for the smaller product ranges, the retail margin improve by optimizing operations. If many small bookshops confront publishers and service providers together, better conditions can often be negotiated, so it would be possible for individual small bookshops.

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