Independent book stores can’t even buy new releases for the low prices that Target, Walmart, and Amazon are offering them to the public — which has led to rationing in order to keep the independents from buying and reselling the books at a profit.
Apparently one can now buy new release books for about $5 cheaper than the wholesale price. From the WSJ:
The retailers are losing money on each copy sold because publishers charge them about 50% of a book’s hardcover price. The prices for the 10 books involved in the promotion are also lower than the wholesale price independent booksellers pay for the merchandise.
Arsen Kashkashian, head buyer at the Boulder Book Store, in Boulder, Colo., said he had intended to buy as many as 70 copies of Barbara Kingsolver’s “The Lacuna” from Walmart.com, Target.com or Amazon, because their prices are “more than $5 cheaper than what we can get it for from the publisher, Harper.
The books in question are from Stephen King, John Grisham, Dean Koontz and James Patterson among others. The books have list prices of $22 to $35, but can be found at retailers for about $9.