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\"``The dramatic advent of superstores and online booksellers has made the book business more like the rest of consumer retailing: There is a smaller number of bigger winners than there used to be,\'\' said author Nicholas Lemann, chair of the guild\'s Midlist Study Group.\"
Superstores such as Borders and Barnes & Noble, which usually have much more space than independent sellers, are credited with offering a greater variety of ``midlist\'\' titles. They\'re also criticized for favoring high-profile books and large publishers.
``A close look at superstore sales patterns suggests that most titles they stock serve essentially as wallpaper,\'\' the study says. ``If there is a single reason why midlist book sales are lagging, it is the chains\' merchandising policies.\'\'
The guild report offers a handful of examples of how superstores have allegedly hurt smaller presses and less mainstream publications: