Knoxville, TN (PressExposure) January 15, 2010 -- The Spring Book Show, perhaps the largest remainder show in the nation, is set for a three-day run at the Cobb Galleria Centre in north Atlanta March 26-28.
The show comes at an opportune time. Bookstores are still suffering from the economic recession. Further, the public has become accustomed to lower book prices as a result of e-book marketing (most titles are priced at $9.99), free or discounted material on the Internet and best-seller price wars launched by Amazon, Wal-Mart, Target, Sears and other discount retailers (hardback best-sellers are being priced by the competitors at around $9).
As a result of the economic recession, one of the few burgeoning areas of the book business not in the digital domain is the remainders and hurts market. At a time when the public has fewer dollars to spend on books, and has grown used to cut-rate prices for reading material, remainders are a viable product for book marketers. In the neighborhood of 50,000 titles will be offered at the Spring Book Show to retailers, many at prices as low as $1 to $2 per copy.
"For a long time the remainder market wasn't considered a legitimate part of the book trade," says Larry May, who with his wife Val owns the Spring Book Show and the Great American Bargain Book Show, remainder book trade fairs held in Atlanta and Boston respectively.
May believes that perception has finally turned around. "Maybe it's the economy, but retailers have finally realized just how much money they can make in remainders and hurts," he said.
Bookstore owners have been quick to respond to the changing market for books. In Los Angeles, for example, Eso Won Bookstore co-owner James Fugate says he will shift his inventory mix "to more bargain-priced books when restocking his shelves" since "too much money is tied up in the slow-moving backlist." He says "a lot of the history that we built our store on, that stuff has got to go." The store plans to destock with a sale in January or February and use the cash to pay overdue bills and selectively replenish the shelves.
While no overall statistics are tracked for the remainders and hurts segment of the book market - publishers are often reluctant to release details about what they are sending out to be sold on the cheap - anecdotal evidence suggests that the slow holiday sales of the most recent Christmas have pushed larger and larger quantities of higher quality books into this secondary market.
May says that in recent years, international participation at his two shows has grown dramatically.
As at the 2009 Spring Book Show, a number of international vendors will be selling remainders at the 2010 show in Atlanta, including Caxton and PR Books, as well as Columbia Marketing from the UK and Fairmount Books and Book Depot from Canada. But it's the overseas buyers that outnumber the sellers. European buyers are already familiar with the market and have been showing up in greater numbers each successive year, says May.
"Oddly, the Spanish and Hispanic markets have been relatively weak," adding, "The real growth is in Asia: the Korean, Japanese and Chinese markets have been pretty strong in the past five years. There's demand in their countries for English language books, but to buy them new and import them can be extremely expensive. So remainders are a good option."