It's hard to respond to things like this without wanting to go into a Jack Nicholson Five Easy Pieces rage, but for now I'll see what the meetings hold.
The upshot is this:
"The $120,000 scheme by the consortium -- whose members are McArthur & Co., McClelland & Stewart, Raincoast Books, House of Anansi Press, Cormorant Books and Thomas Allen Publishers -- would put themed displays of the publishers' books in high-traffic areas in Chapter/Indigo outlets on four separate occasions throughout the year.
Five or six backlist titles from each of the publishers would be featured at any one time, for a duration of at least four weeks, with Chapters/Indigo ordering as many as 3,000 copies of each title. Chapters/Indigo representatives will choose the books to be presented from lists supplied by the publishers."
Almost 70 per cent of the $120,000 would be used to purchase ads in various Chapters/Indigo publications and on its website, while the balance would be used for advertisements in Canadian newspapers."
But the beauty part is:
"The plan by the newly formed More Canada Marketing consortium has raised the ire of some of Canada's independent booksellers not only because of its focus, for 2007 at least, on 90 large-format Chapters and Indigo outlets -- the independents' biggest competitors -- but because the consortium is hoping to get money from the federal and Ontario governments to make it happen."
I and my fellow Words Worth folk are pretty damn fine booksellers and it pisses me off that public money is proposed to prop up a bunch of retreads that aren't.
Christ Almighty publishers, if you are worried about not having access to "the balancing effect of something like The Da Vinci Code to keep up our revenue stream," the why continue to tolerate the "ghastly" level of returns from Chapters?
This is something that could be fixed with a phone call and a spine.
Posted by Dave