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Bennett CerfBennett Cerf
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the same book for considerably less than the list price. They consider books “loss leaders” that lure customers into their stores.


Well, you're stupid not to use them to a certain extent.


Yes, except that it's not always pleasant shopping in these discount stores.

Of course Brentano's and Scribner's have the stock that Korvette's and the other discount houses haven't got. But those are the unprofitable stocks. They'll have a book on their shelves for six months before somebody comes in and asks for it. But all of these things have hurt retail book selling. Mail orders also affect book selling--publishers doing their own mail orders. I think there's a lot to be said for making that against the law. The publisher here is obviously competing with his own customers.

In fact, there are a great many things that I think are wrong in the book business. In many ways book publishers still do things exactly as they did in the horse-and-buggy days; and if I were a book seller, I'd raise hell.


You wouldn't want to elaborate on that at all?


I'm worrying about the book clubs, the price cutters, the mail order schemes--all of these things.

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