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Monday, August 08, 2005

Chicago Tribune Misrepresents Used Book Sales

We recently posted a link to a New York Times article that discussed a scholarly study (a NYU/Carnegie Mellon collaboration) of the used book market. The jist of the article was that publishers and authors are not severely devastated by used book sales. In fact, if they are even hurt at all, it is only marginally. The article(s) did establish enough credibility to be at least alluded to in any attack or defense of internet used book sales. Judy Artunian of the Chicago Tribune, however, seems to disagree. Her article title, "Like New Books: Instant Used Books Sad Story for Authors" gives the impression used books are the bane of authors' existence. While she does allude to the possibility of benefits coming from used book sales at the very end of her article, her true beliefs are already cemented in the reader's mind. Ms. Artunian's omission of the very recent study is proof of her sloppy research and poor fact checking. The most basic research on used book markets (a basic news search of the last two weeks who have given you the NYT article) would have revealed both the NYT article and the citation for the academic study. (Link: Academic study abstract)