Friday, October 23, 2009

Danish chain in clash over Dan Brown
22.10.09 Nils Bjervig The Bookseller

One of Denmark’s largest bookshop chains is refusing to stock Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol after failing to convince the publisher to put a fixed price on the book.
Indeks Retail (IR), which operates 180 stores, put what has been described as strong pressure on the small press to publish the translation of Brown's latest novel with a fixed price to avoid competition from online booksellers and supermarkets.
But the publisher, Hr. Ferdinand, refused to do so. Indeks Retail is now boycotting Hr. Ferdinand’s other titles, although it denies any wrong-doing in the negotiations.

The book will be published in mid-November in Danish as Det forsvundne Tegn. The publisher has now increased the print run from 110,000 to 130,000 as a result of the controversy.
The conflict, unheard of before in Denmark, is seen as the last effort from booksellers to fight off competition from other retailers.
The Danish exemption from Competition Law expires at the end of 2010, at which point fixed prices on books in Denmark will be abolished, unless the Danish Parliament decides otherwise. Under the current set-up, whether a book has a fixed price or not depends on the publisher.

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