Private: Bad news for small publishers

Says Dennis Johnson of Moby Lives:

In what may be a harbinger of things to come in the U.S. book industry, a depressed holiday–buying season has prompted a huge U.K. bookseller to throw its weight around in a way that’s making publishers nervous. As noted in yesterday’s MobyLives news digest, the giant chain bookseller W.H. Smith curtailed local branches from ordering books from local and small publishers. Now, as a Publishing News story reports, Smith has “written to publishers warning them that it will return all stock of titles bought for promotions” such as book club and other “cheap edition” sales if those promotions aren’t cleared through the bookseller at the “initial promotional purchasing stage.”