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How not to sell books

Scottish literature website damned for 'bleeding cash' - Scotsman.com News

The booksfromscotland.com site was launched in December 2005 with £100,000 from the Scottish Arts Council. It was billed as a "one-stop shop" for Scottish writing.

And this week its owner, Publishing Scotland, saw its SAC annual grant increased from about £200,000 to £260,000 for "further development" of the site.

But The Scotsman has learned that despite its reported target to sell 15,000 books annually, the site has sold books at only a fifth of that rate.

£260,000 to sell 3,000 books? Marketing costs of £87 per book? And this is only for the website! Haven't they heard of Amazon north of the border - or even Borders north of the border? A cynic might suggest that this shows the difference between private enterprise and suckling on the public teat.



Who in the world ever thinks these State-sponsored web sites are worth doing?

Hopefully this is the sort of thing that will vanish without trace when El Gordo goes to his undeserved reward, but I wouldn't bank on it.

Even if it does, what's the betting that its staff - complete with plush offices, laptops all round, and gold-plated pensions, are somehow kept on indefinitely?

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