How To Kill A Book Club With Cynicism

February 1st, 2006 · 2 Comments
by Booksquare

If we were Scholastic (and evidence suggests we are not), we would be doing everything in our power to build a trusting relationship with the little kids who make our publishing venture strong. We would be squeaky clean and bend over backwards to make sure that parents are not off-put by our very name. We would think about the Harry Potter franchise coming to end, knowing that we need a solid revenue stream to make up for the empty hole.

In other words, we wouldn’t engage in potentially misleading billing and fulfillment practices that anger parents enough to file a class action lawsuit. Especially after being forced to settle another lawsuit just a year ago. The issue is negative billing, a sure money-maker for publishers, but as every kid who ever fell the for the “Ten Records for just Ten Cents” pitch from Columbia House knows, this practice can lead to heartache and hassle. Publisher’s clubs continue the practice mostly because

While negative option billing is not illegal, plaintiffs in this case claim that when they tried to cancel their membership they were harassed, deceived, intimidated, and threatened, the complaint states.

File Under: Publishers and Editors

2 responses so far ↓

  • SusanGable // Feb 1, 2006 at 1:50 pm

    Wow. I find that distressing. As a former teacher, I always worked with Scholastic, handing out their fliers in my classroom. Long before that, I BOUGHT books (okay, my parents BOUGHT the books!) from those little fliers in my classroom.

    Well, I hope they clean up their act.

  • Booksquare // Feb 1, 2006 at 6:45 pm

    This is common practice, unfortunately. Numbers must go up. I think there’s an economic theory supporting this. Someone pushed the envelope too far. Another major settlement and things might return to normal.

    Yes, that was optimism. Thought I’d try it to see how it feels. Oddly, not as good as you’d think.