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Wholesaler

A book trade intermediary (normally a large company) buying books from publishers and on-selling them to booksellers (never to the public). The equivalent of a library supplier in the library world. In the United States, the term book jobber covers both wholesaler and library supplier.

The virtue and strength of wholesalers is that they aggregate books, thus providing bookshops with a ‘one-stop shop’ and helping them avoid the nightmare of purchasing (and accounting for) titles from potentially thousands of different publishers. Instead, the bookseller can order single copies of books from multiple publishers, receive them in the same delivery and pay for them on a single invoice.

The business model of wholesaling is that books are bought from publishers at a far higher discount than is given to retail customers.

In reality, wholesalers only hold copies of about the top (best-selling) 100,000 titles; other titles they will only get from publishers on receipt of a bookseller order.

This definition is new, i.e. not extracted from the book Getting Published: A Companion for the Humanities and Social Sciences by Gerald Jackson and Marie Lenstrup.

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