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John Oakes Urges Publishers to Sell eBooks Directly

John Oakes, the co-founder of OR Books, has written an opinion piece for Publisher’s Weekly, encouraging publishers to free themselves from the traditional print book supply chain (as well as from the shackles of Amazon) by selling eBooks directly to consumers and fostering community around small bookstores.

Oakes said that with good marketing its is possible to train the consumer to bypass Amazon and buy eBooks from the publisher. He also explained how this can help build print sales among small bookstores. He wrote:

By creating a buzz around a book online and fostering online communities of readers around each book, we create a small but reliable in-store demand as well. And we’ve found that increasingly stores are open to buying on a prepaid, nonreturnable basis; we give them a flat 50% discount, not dithering over a percentage point here or there. Stores order a smaller amount than they would under the old “order now, pay later” system, but they sell what they take in stock, and reorder.

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