James Patterson, Book Stores and Amazon

Yesterday at the BEA, Book Expo America,  James Patterson’s $1M give away to independent book stores was celebrated and another round of checks was handed out. Several book sellers recounted their use of the funds while a group of Hachette people sat in the front row. James’ effort that grew out of reading with his son is attached to his  www.readkiddoread.com effort and website. It’s about getting kids to read because they have so much better a chance to grow up to be good people and parents.

He’s absolutely right and so many of the booksellers here today to participate at BEA have made their life’s work ensuring that our children become better adults by making books part of our lives.

To me, the support of book stores, independent bookstores,  is hugely important at this moment with the distribution of Hachette’s books disrupted and slowed down by Amazon. It’s a message which requires action.

A website may have a roll in distribution but it has little value compared to getting kids and families into book stores and discovering reading.

One of the strongest remarks anyone made yesterday was James’ claim that we go out and do something. It isn’t enough to attend a lecture and go out and feel good about. We need action on behalf of book stores and’ the good that they do.

When we put those remarks and the $1M effort to support bookstores into the context of James Patterson’s own books being subject t’o the hostage crisis Amazon is inflicting on his publisher, Hachette, we have quite a picture.

It’s time for Hachette and every publisher big or small to do something. It’s time to act on behalf of our industry and the fundamental value that it provides our society, our communities and especially our future. We need book stores. We need publishers to be in control of pricing and distribution. We need no more monopsonistic distribution models.

James Patterson is doing is part to show leadership in this industry. It’s time we had a leader in one of the major publishing houses take a stand and leap into. a new future for bookselling. A future where bookstores are not given lip service while giant destructive discounting retailers put us out of business. We need action to unfold the integrated industry where publishing uses all it’s tools including Amazon and the big boxes as best suits our industry as a whole. Book stores’ sales must be given their due as the most beneficial to our industry.

Everybody sells on publishers’ terms. Publishers set the price. Book stores will flourish. We can take you there.

Our children’s being better adults is what’s at stake. Ask James Patterson.

Thanks again James. Chris

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