According to Bookseller + Publisher, four of Australia’s independent book distributors have just reached an agreement to merge their operations. Bookwise (who, incidentally, distribute the print editions of The Australian Writer’s Marketplace), Tower Books, Gary Allen, and Brumby’s Books and Music will retain their own brands but will consolidate their IT systems, operations, and administrative functions.
I’m afraid you’ll need to login to read the rest of the article – and I recommend a subscription, cause Bookseller + Publisher have some interesting stuff – but the gist is that it’s basically business as usual, with most of the changes internal and unlikely to affect booksellers or customers. Gary Allen is quoted in the article as saying that the main reason behind the merge was to ‘create a new entity with critical mass to compete more effectively,’ and that they should be able to develop the scale and reach to penetrate market niches more effectively, and become a more significant supplier.
How many indies does it take to make a non-indie? Does this mean that we’ve got four less independents, and one more giant? Or can they have corporate finances, and still be indies at heart?