Still, what's most interesting about this news is that it does to a certain extent counteract the news that Amazon has profited quite a bit in the last year. Obviously, Amazon is much more than just a book outlet and it's always been clear that book sales are not what keep the company afloat. And even knowing this, it's surprising to hear about publisher's difficulties selling.
Simon & Schuster was on track to have a solid year until the second week in October, when consumer concerns over the economy resulted in a severe sales downturn that, noted S&S CEO Carolyn Reidy, “continues to this day.”
What can be more revealing than quotes like this? It makes sense that a darkening economic situation would cause consumers to stop and think before they buy. And yet there's still something troubling to it. This implication that the book industry is perhaps not quite as stable as we'd like to think it is, and how it is, for the most part, dependent on precisely those readers who buy (or don't buy) books. None of this is new, of course; it's just reemerging now once again as the times grow dark. And even with declining sales, Reidy and Simon & Schuster try to look at the bright side - the megahits that are bound to come. There's still time to see what 2009 will bring.