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CBD Increases Category-Killer Tactics

With the bestselling book One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp on sale at Christian Book Distributors (CBD) for $5.99 on Tuesday — 65% off list — some retailers are giving up hope on ever being able to woo back customers lost to the online sellers. Booksellers in the general market lament ‘the Amazon factor,’ but for Christian retailers, CBD is the elephant in the industry. The Voskamp deal is part of CBD’s 20 Days of Christmas special, and there was no limit on how many copies could be purchased at that price.

(A retail store in Canada, using CBD as a wholesale source would, even with the 25% shipping cost to Canada, end up getting a 56.25% discount. At the $200 mark, CBD freight to Canada drops to 20%, leaving a net 58.0% discount.)

Does CBD have to go that deep to capture market share? Obviously they think so, but they wouldn’t be able to do this without the blessing of both publishers and authors. Authors? Yes, these deep discount events generally involve a reduced author royalty, something literary agents agree to on behalf of the authors.

The publishers involved know full well that the discounting is killing the brick and mortar retail environment.

Meanwhile, Paul Young’s anticipated sophomore title, Cross Roads, is being offered at 60% off for three days this week. (Canadian retailers, using CBD as a wholesale source, would be getting 50% on this title.)

The best alternative for retailers is to find the titles that aren’t on CBD’s radar — local interest titles and independent publishers — and feature those instead.

  1. December 1, 2012 at 12:54 am

    There must be a marketing expression to say, ‘can’t buy this book from a catalogue.’
    At last, a definate plus for those authors who can’t get traditional distribution!
    A nice end to my week!
    Sarah Tun, independent author

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