Every two years, the national Meetings of the library are organized by the Union of the Librairie française (SLF). The fifth edition was held in Marseille on 30 June and 1 July. It brings together 700 bookstores and 200 other professionals of the book, which will present the issues that affect the profession, and their challenges for the future. The event will be the opportunity for the profession to express its concern in the face of the juggernaut Amazon.
The SLF (Union of the library) wants to take the opportunity to raise awareness among the general public at the single price of the book, which remains little known since its implementation in 1981, and will soon be celebrating its fortieth year. Only Amazon remains hostile, noted the SLF, with the aggressive strategy of ever-lower prices from great online site, to eliminate brands that do not have funds also considerable.
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“While the single-price has made its evidence on the economic and cultural and that the whole of the political class supports it, we have a player very powerful which is installed at the heart of our market and working gradually to undermine the foundations. All modes of creation or dissemination of books pushed by Amazon escape, of fact or of law, at the single price of the book. This concerns both the occasion, the audio book, that digital subscriptions and self-publishing,” says Xavier Moni, President of the SLF.
Bitter, he denounces the passivity of the political: “This is not a coincidence and this should make us react, professionals as well as policy and parliamentary. It’s been over a year since the Ombudsman of the book has sent to the government and the Parliament a proposal to amend the 1981 act to require Amazon to better meet the unique price. This recommendation was not followed through to this day.”
according To the magazine Livres Hebdo , 3300 bookstores in France account for 40% of book sales. Despite this, the bookstore remains one of the shops the least profitable, with a net result average, around 1%, according to a study of Xerfi .
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A matter of economic survival
During these Meetings the national library, the SLF will launch a Manifesto to ensure that the small sellers of books remain economically viable.
The grievances recalled that among the objectives of the single price in 1981 was already in a good place the need to maintain, over the whole of the territory, a dense network of retailers in the face of the growth of large distribution. He was also considering to allow the latter to have sufficient margins to cover expenses related to their qualitative work. Nearly forty years later what is it of these two goals?
Faced with this problem, the Union of French Bookstores reminder that “the single price of the book is a mode of regulation, which calls for a conscious practice of interprofessional solidarity in order to offset the dependency relationship of the other professions of the book vis-à-vis the edition.”
But, because that this spirit of responsibility and solidarity is widely delity, two other major problems have appeared: the book market does not produce enough of value, and this value is very unevenly distributed. The booksellers want to restore their profit margin, and here again Amazon is referred to, to obtain a delivery rate more advantageous for the bookstore.