10 points about exclusive deals
27.02.09 | Isla Dawes
Hachette has pulled out of its exclusive arrangement with Waterstone's over Glen David Gold's Sunnyside. What though would be the long-term picture for independent booksellers if these deals became more prevalent.
1) Hodder was expecting the very exclusivity of this deal to generate extra publicity. This would have put independents in a no-win situation of trying to get adverse press coverage whilst trying not to get too much so that the book does extremely well on the back of it.
2) The Independents will no longer be able to satisfy their customers on range and informed bookselling if they are unable to source titles which will have national press coverage.
3) Regular independent customers will be forced to go to Waterstone’s and will make increasingly less effort to frequent their local independent if they do not expect them to have a key title in stock.
4) The long-term future of hardback literary fiction is looking increasingly bleak. With a further weakened independent sector, there will inevitably be fewer shops who will stock these titles.
5) Publishers will have even more trouble getting grass-roots word-of-mouth for any books when fewer independents can read and enthuse about some of their more challenging books.
6) Glen David Gold agreed to this deal. How was this sold to him and how much information was he given?
7) What does this mean for other authors of literary fiction, in particular those who are not as well connected as Gold?
8) What happens when a Booker or Costa short-listed title is not available to the trade as a whole?
9) Other publishers confirm that Waterstone’s is pushing more and more for exclusivity.
10 ) What is Waterstone’s doing that is so special to warrant the special treatment?