'Ten Reasons Why Bookselling Is Not Retail'

Robert Martin

With a little help from his bookselling friends, Robert Martin, director of operations for the Midwest Independent Booksellers Association, shared "10 Reasons Why Bookselling Is Not Retail" in a post on Medium, including:

  1. Books are not traditional products.
  2. Booksellers are highly valued within the industry.
  3. Bookstores reflect the character of their staff.
  4. Bookstores reflect the character of their community.
  5. Bookstores impact their community.
  6. The book industry IS a community.
  7. Bookselling is more service-driven than traditional retail.
  8. Galleys and swag
  9. BINC
  10. Crossover with other segments of the industry.

"Granted, there are lots of independent businesses that operate in unique ways, and there are other industries that function without top-down corporate homogeneity," Martin wrote. "But independent bookstores function incredibly differently from the way most retail functions. These 10 differences don't really even scratch the surface of what a unique environment it is."

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