The book trade's missed opportunity

<p>The book trade was given an opportunity unlike any other - and conspired to lose money on it, writes Terence Blacker in the Independent. &quot;Publishers and booksellers have a very precise model when it comes to the perfect long-term project; they want &#39;the same, but different&#39;, year after year. Ideally, a successful series of books, appealing to the same market but with different stories, should appear at regular intervals.&quot;<br /><br />&quot;The Potter series was that fantasy personified. The book trade was given a commercial opportunity unlike any other in living memory - and conspired to lose money on it. . . Having allowed a pricing free-for-all, publishers have played into the hands of supermarkets, ensuring that the only moment in recent history when a hardback has been globally cool, internationally fashionable, it has been sold at a knock-down, loss-making price.&quot;<br /><br /><br /></p>