An investigation into the effects of closed market book distribution on libraries in Kwazulu Natal.
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The usual route for purchasing a book is for an end user, eg. a library to place an order with a bookshop, eg. Mast. The bookshop places the order for that book directly with the publisher, who may be overseas or local. There are however, some overseas publishers who do not supply their books directly to bookshops in South Africa. Their books are available through one wholesale distributor of books in South Africa who is given an exclusive contract for the supply of that imprint to the local market. The route for an order therefore is from the end user to the bookshop, from the bookshop to the book distributer, and then from the book distributor to the publisher. The book is shipped from the publisher to the book distributor, from the book distributor to the bookshop, and finally from the bookshop to the end user. This is closed market book distribution. The market has effectively been closed to all but one supplier for South Africa. A contract to this effect exists between the book distributor and the publisher.