- Potter magic fails to rub off on retailers (June 20th 2007)
- Cheap Harry Potters hit Ottakar's (June 21st 2007)
- Anger at Prince free CD giveaway (June 30th 2007)
The traditional economic structure of the media industry - including books, films and recorded music - is that the risk of supporting unknown and struggling creative talent is compensated by huge profits from a small number of blockbusters. A similar equation applies to the viability of specialist retailers (such as independent booksellers). It is hard to avoid the conclusion that massive discounting of selected items represents a deliberate price war by the larger retailers against the smaller independent ones, with the intent of driving them out of business.
But why do the publishers go along with these tactics? Why do they succumb to discounting pressure from general-purpose retailers? Surely J.K. Rowling and her publishers would make just as much money, perhaps more, by selling a smaller number of volumes at the full price? There are certainly large numbers of Harry Potter fans who would prefer to pay the full price rather than wait for a cheaper edition, if that was the choice available. Perhaps it's because everyone is focused on achieving impressive sales volumes, rather than thinking more intelligently about objectives and targets.
WYMIWYG - what you measure is what you get.