Wow, this is probably the silliest, most ill-informed little screed on the subject of Print on Demand and the future of book selling that I've ever come across.
To summarize, big chain bookstores are too powerful, too filled with crappy, expensive books and the new scenario will work something like this:
"With luck, within five years your local Waterstone’s will have shrunk roughly to the size of a branch of Snappy Snaps. Books will be a lot cheaper, and you will be able to buy anything published anywhere in the world. In fact, you probably won’t bother with Snappystone’s at all. You will go into Starbucks, slip your credit card into a machine, order a book and grab a latte, which you will finish just as your book completes its printing and binding process."
In the meantime, Bryan Appleyard says, "Online, Amazon and Abe Books have everything I need; in fact, they have everything anybody could ever need, and Abe Books, especially, is absurdly cheap."
Please read the whole article, but unless I'm missing something, this clown's hatred of bookstore chains can be wholly replaced with... more chains.
Dude, are there no locally owned bookstores left in Britain?
I get along fine without chain stores too, but start thinking in terms of zeroes.
ABE and Amazon employ no one locally, contribute nothing to local tax bases, contribute nothing to local charities, authors receive no revenue through ABE's and Amazon's second hand businesses, and if small presses get bestseller placement on Amazon's page, I've never seen it.
I can only assume this guy wet himself in a bookshop as a child and is still horrendously scarred by the episode.
Posted by Dave