Overview of the Retail Books Sector
The global retail book industry is made up of hundreds of thousands of booksellers, wholesalers, and manufactures who collectively market to consumers through book shops, retail outlets, mail order stores and of course on the Internet. The publishing industry engages millions of people and represents a sizeable part of the retail market.
The greatest concentration of book sales is controlled through a small amount of very large publishing houses and retail book firms. Whereas conventional second-hand bookshops, speciality book shops, rare book shops and independent book shops, continue to strive in the face of severe rivalry from the internet. Despite sales hurdles on the high street and the availability of other entertainment mediums, consumer demand for modern literature continues to grow. Literary agents and publishing companies provide creative authors with the possibility to access multiple retail carriers.
Sadly, many libraries are closing, and high street charity shops have an increasing supply of old second hand books that people don't want any more. Consumers buying the latest best selling title are increasingly turning away from a physical paperback or hardback books and opting for electronic downloads instead. Yet all is not lost for the traditional family bookshop business. Many still do very well from the academic student market and family history market.
The tremendous growth of e-books, tablets, smart phones and e-book reader devices is changing the book business forever. Consumers can get e-book titles cheaper online. Many prefer the convenience of instant access, rather than go out to a retail book shop to buy a physical book. Similarly, online e-book retailers can slash the operating costs (such as premises, staff, binding, distribution and physical book production) associated with traditional retail book models. Even supermarkets are seeing lost sales of popular fictional titles to the Internet retail giants (such as Amazon).
To survive this industry transition many smaller bookshops are concentrating their efforts on providing specialty on niche titles, and best selling books deals with high profile authors. Ironically many smaller retail book shops are creating their own websites to compete with the e-Book phenomena. Many logistics and delivery companies have benefited from the move to ordering physical books online.
The Internet has also given authors the ability to self publish books. There are many online retail e-book websites dedicated to self publishing. This helps to provide badly needed advertising and marketing for writers to announce and launch a new title. Self publishing is a popular choice for authors of children's books and fictional books.