Sea of Noise

Fri, 23 Jul 2004

Publishers Whine About Used Book Sales

Publishers are whining about used book sales again. (Oh, great, that means it must be time for musicians to get up in arms about used CD sales again, too. Remember that?)

It always amazes me that publishers haven't thought this through: demand for first sales is higher because books can be resold. But the Napster-Amazon analogy is just plain dumb: when a song is pirated, an unlimited number of copies may be made from one legitimate copy; by contrast, every used book starts out as a first sale for the publisher.

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