Bookseller Robert Gray reports on his blog from the convention floor at C.I.R.O.B.E…. the Chicago International Remainder and Overstock Book Exposition, which is being held this weekend. This is where booksellers go to buy bargain books (aka remaindered books, aka all the stuff that didn’t sell when it was released) by the pallet.
Unlike BookExpo in the spring, this show makes no pretense about what it is. CIROBE is about moving product. It’s not quite so garish as “garbage in, garbage out,” but it’s close.
In an industry where profit margins are, to be polite, slender, bargain books offer booksellers the opportunity to make a little extra money while still giving their customers excellent value. Everybody’s happy except the authors, who do not really profit from this exchange; who, in fact, can only view the prospect of their books being offered for sale at a fraction of their original retail price as a slap in the face.
It’s a fascinating and entertaining report, well worth checking out if you’re interested in the inner-workings of the book biz…and don’t subscribe to Publishers Weekly.