October 7, 2004

News & Opinion: Big Players

By: Dylan Schleicher @ 12:29 PM – Filed under: Publishing Industry

Interesting things from two companies changing the book business.
Wal-Mart CEO Lee Scott was interviewed in WSJ's Boss Talk yesterday [sub. needed].
WSJ: You are very important to the book business. Is the book business important to you, and do you have plans to expand?
Mr. Scott: We don't have plans to make things bigger; we let our customers drive it. We can't be Barnes & Noble. We sell the bestsellers, but we can't sell every book of a best-selling author, although sometimes we bring out special collections.
The best-selling books at Wal-Mart are the "Left Behind" series and other inspirational books. I don't think we do as good a job in magazines as we could. Our offering is too homogenous, and I think it could be individualized by geographic area.

Google also announced their Google Print service. They are going to catalog books (with publishers' permissions) and make those results available with searches. They will sell ads alongside those results and direct readers to other sources for purchasing.

About Dylan Schleicher

Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.