In a comment under the post on the low discount to trade from CTS on the new Altar Missals a concerning trend has been found, highlighted and raised – one that crosses denominational boundaries and publishing houses and is perhaps of even more concern than the very low discount being given from CTS.
Andrew Lacey of Glo Bookshop posted:
A further addition to the Church Hymnary pot….
It seems that the new ‘Singing the Faith’ Methodist Hymn book, shortly to be distributed by Hymns Ancient & Modern for the Methodist Publishing House, will also not be available with any trade discount either! Apparently there is an introductory discount of approx 15% being offered direct to churches & online, but there will be no further discount AT ALL provided to Bookshops.
(just as an aside, note that customers cards will be charged NOW, rather than when the goods are despatched in SEPTEMBER- anyone tried that with a retail customer recently? What response did you get?!
A very helpful lady at MPH apologetically explained to me that no decision had yet been taken on any trade discount after the introductory offer expired in December 2011. This, of course, follows the pretty meagre discounts that were offered by HA&M on the Church of Scotland Hymnary 4th edition- although, in fairness to HA&M, they did help us once so we could match advertised prices.
It is hugely frustrating that these captive markets are effectively being creamed off by publishers, and bookshops are being very efficiently sidelined. Especially when we are the people who often do the work for the customer in making phone calls and trawling the web- and the only people who will benefit is the publisher.
It will also be interesting to see whether the Methodist Hymn Book turns up on the Book Depository lists at even larger disounts in due course……..
This is, as Andrew has said, deeply concerning as it effectively shows that bookshops are not only being sidelined but actively excluded from being in a position to serve their local communities and supply them – communities that in many cases want to support their local bookshops and that the local bookshops have spent years working alongside them through changes of all types and in every day times as well – to see the publishing houses of these institutions and those chosen to represent them now seemingly actively sidelining these shops is more than a deeply concerning issue and brings so many questions to bear – not least what has happened to the trade at large and how can we actively and corporately resolve this troubling trend and crisis.
This at a time when US based Christian Retailing Magazine have on their Facebook Page put out a call for Suppliers to sign up to the Supplier Pledge alongside Christian Retailers signing up to the Retailers Pledge posted of earlier.
The pledge reads:
I have been called to be part of extending God’s kingdom through the creation of Christian products that can change lives. While this calling means that I want to see these resources distributed as widely as possible, I believe that I enjoy a unique partnership in this endeavor with Christian retailers. Independent, church and other Christian retail stores are community lighthouses that share my ministry goal. I believe in the ministry of Christian retailers and want to work with and support them as much as possible. I will seek to honor my Lord in my business with the efforts of my hands, my heart, my staff and my commitment to His Word. I love Christian products and I thank God for my calling.
So far Caritas Music Publishing has signed up – maybe it’s time we actively call on all our UK Suppliers and Publishing Houses to also make a public commitment of support for the Christian Retailers trying to so hard to support them and the local Christian communities they actively work alongside of.