A stupid and pointless response to the Small Business Minister’s statement of fact last week, from a bookseller, shows exactly why physical bookshops are going to disappear.
Rather than develop a better business model or to have foreseen the 20 year on-coming of the e-book, the only solutions they have for a failed business is get the government to subsidise them and get the customer to pay more – they must be geniuses in the book industry.
The government – and especially its Small Business Minister – should support the book retail and publishing sectors, which employ more than 20,000 people. It must tackle issues such as the GST’s impact on book prices, and the free delivery of online books from Britain via Australia Post. And it needs to work harder to discourage Australians from buying globally via the web. If the government can’t fix our high dollar, it can certainly remind people of the damaging effects on our economy.
Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/its-far-too-soon-to-be-writing-the-doomsday-book-minister-20110617-1g7zd.html#ixzz1PaIQNzBA
I mean, really, stop foreign online bookshops from using free delivery, how practical is that a suggestion.
Funnily enough, and not mentioned in the article is the fact that the biggest cost for bookshops and the whole retail sector is for rental of floor space, which is twice what is paid elsewhere in the world. Why do they not campaign about that and keep their businesses going by reducing costs. I suppose because its easier to blame the poor customer and screw them as per usual, and if you can’t continue to screw your customers, better yet, get the government to do it for you.
I would be worried about the future of bookshops if it meant a reduction in the sales or availability of books, but e-books are causing an increase in both.