So says an article in Paid Content:

Book clubs—of the Book of the Month Club, “get 10 books for a dollar” type, not the Oprah variety—were once an essential revenue stream for the book publishing industry, with millions of customers buying discounted books directly. But today, with deep discounts and wide selections offered by online retailers, book clubs have become much less important to the publishing industry. In a nod to changing times, Random House parent company Bertelsmann is now closing Direct Group, its book clubs and direct marketing division, effective June 30.

Over the past three years, Direct Group has sold off most of its international subsidiaries, including those in the U.S., UK, Italy, Spain, Australia, Asia, and France, and will fold the remaining ones into Bertelsmann or sell them off. Najafi Companies, the Phoenix-based private equity firm that is considering a bid for Borders, bought Direct Group North America, whose brands included Book of the Month Club and Columbia House, in 2008 and the French-speaking businesses in May.

More in the article.  I, personally, discontinued my memberships to the Book of the Month Club and the Science Fiction Book Club because of their lack of an ebook offering.


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