According to the cultural reporter of rahnam news agency, Black Friday is the biggest auction in America after Thanksgiving, which is practically the last Friday of November and the beginning of shopping for Christmas, which unfortunately in the past years and with the spread of culture The West has gained a wide influence in Iran, unaware that it is not compatible with Iran’s culture or Iran’s economy.
In line with some brands and goods stores in Iran with this phenomenon, which is the complete spread of consumerism and inviting the audience to buy fake goods, virtual platforms have also started large auctions.
In the final days of last week and the coming days of this week, DigiKala has set one of its biggest auctions of the year called “Black Friday”, an auction that, although it has been criticized in social networks and the media, these criticisms Usually less noticed is the biggest loss that this platform’s Black Friday auctions will have on the body of culture.
Among the categories of products that DigiKala has auctioned on the occasion of Black Friday, books are also visible, “Up to 50% discount on millions of book titles” is the title that DigiKala has chosen to sell books these days. This happened while previously, the repetition of such discounts by Digikala, both in the form of special auctions and in the form of book exhibitions, was always accompanied by protests from booksellers, publishing trade unions and even the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance.
Although some publishers, even large publishers, cooperate with Digikala in launching some large book auctions, offering books with unusual discounts has always been condemned by trade unions, and other publishers and booksellers also view this as purely economic in an industry that is full of all kinds of Challenges are grappling and losses in one circle lead to successive losses in other circles, they have been criticized.
However, the sale of books with unusual discounts has been the bane of our country’s publishing industry for several years, and virtual platforms have become a place to sell books with such unusual discounts. If we take a look at the progress of book sales on the DigiKala platform or some similar platforms, it can be seen on the other side of the story that it has led to the aggravation of the economic crisis among publishers, because the sale of books with unconventional discounts leads bookstore customers to buy from these channels. .
Of course, the work does not end there, because this process of selling books through various portals has created an opportunity for bookmakers – the “makers and sellers of the publishing industry” – considering the problems they have to enter the traditional and official book market amid the legal vacuum and chaos. The world of zero and one or the virtual space by using the facilities of platforms such as Digikala, social networks or even informal book selling channels in the virtual space to sell mostly low-quality books, which in addition to the country’s culture, has also faced a serious challenge to the publishing economy.
On the other hand, although platforms or virtual stores have been offering and selling books in recent years with the aim of meeting the needs of their customers, in the future, by moving away from the standards of book supply, without wanting or having any intention, in practice They have become a platform for profit seekers in the publishing field and they are fueling the abuse of the same publishers.
In this way, due to the fact that in the past few years, in order to speed up and facilitate the issuance of publishing licenses, some people have obtained a publishing license from the Ministry of Guidance and published the best-selling books of publishers with non-authentic translations and generally copied from the original translation of the publisher. Have. The interesting thing to note here is that the number of these publishers is not small and since their production costs, including copyright and translation fees, are very low or they do not pay at all, they offer significant discounts by adding the unconventional price of the back cover of the book and finally sell their books from They offer to the audience through these platforms.
Therefore, taking into account the economic situation of the audience, it is quite natural that the general audience also goes towards buying such books and creates an infamous cycle in the official and legal publishing industry of our country, whose undeniable example is the fact that according to Homan Hasanpour, the former president The Publishers and Booksellers Union of Tehran accounts for over 85% of the sales of virtual exhibitions on the platforms related to the works produced by bookmakers, and the share of those with IDs in the publishing industry remains only 15%.
This is where the official and well-known publishers of the publishing market criticize the book auctions in virtual stores and they believe that the problem of the high presence of bookmakers in these markets is only to the detriment of their economic interests and ultimately it is the culture of our country that is the main loser. It will be possible, because taking into account the high costs of producing and supplying books with amazing discounts, there are two opposing and determining points that are a fundamental problem in this process, and the profiteers of this market who, due to legal loopholes, have even managed to obtain official permission from the Ministry of Guidance. They sing.
So, taking this fact into consideration, even if we say that the audience of the books sold in Digikala’s Black Friday auction or other virtual stores have no interest, we have not spoken far from the truth, because the buyer of these books in the mentioned zero and one auctions has imagined the book he wants. bought at a 50% discount, half the price, while an examination of the prices of the books produced by the bookmakers in the manner mentioned, not only does it not have the quality of the original book, but it has not been reasonably priced for the 50% discount. made them cheap.
This is where the same vicious cycle has been brought up again, indicating that the audience has gone wide-eyed and the book makers have been the only winners of this vicious circle.
Because this very important question is unconsciously formed in the mind that how can copywriter publishers sell these books with strange discounts of 40-80% in such auctions? While only one of the costs of book production, i.e. paper, is now 500 to 700 thousand Tomans, and with the total of the staggering costs of production, including the same price of paper, can publishers with birth certificate set an 80% discount for their quality product?
But on the other side of DigiKala’s Black Friday coin, there are publishers who have offered their books in DigiKala with the same discount percentage that they offer to distribution centers and bookstores, even in some cases this percentage has reached 47%. Meanwhile, the percentage of the publisher’s discount to the distribution centers is 40-45%, while the distribution centers calculate between 25-30% discount on the back cover of the book for the booksellers.
Anyway, in spite of all the mentioned cases and the problems that have always been created for the publishing industry, even though trade unions and the officials of the Ministry of Culture and Guidance in meetings and negotiations with Digikala officials have repeatedly pointed out and emphasized that the book should be offered at a normal price. There is still no news of reforming this method in this virtual platform, and there is nothing but economic black times for the share of well-known publishers.
This is despite the fact that a platform with this history, which always emphasizes the observance of professional and ethical principles in the market, is expected to help the main activists of the publishing industry and strengthen the cultural sector of this market, and is one of the disadvantages of profit-oriented and capitalist views on the field of culture. And the publication was prevented.
It is expected that Digikala will not become a platform for traders in the publishing market, especially when this publication marketing approach has been established for this collection. In this context, many trade unions, publishers and booksellers have called for more cooperation of this platform. However, the origin of this story also brings issues to the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance. But in a place where a detailed and detailed law is not available, it is not unreasonable to expect Digikala, which, based on the cultural mission it has defined for itself, has entered this path outside of the conventional rules of the market and for the protection of the people and those who are concerned in the field of publishing and culture. Put different measures and indicators on the agenda.
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