Document Type : Original Article


1 Ph.D. Candidate in Knowledge and Information Science, Information Retrieval, Science and Research, Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran

2 Associate Professor of Humanities Faculty, Islamic Azad University of Shahr Rey (RAH), Tehran, Iran

3 Associate Professor, Department of Knowledge and Information Science, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran

4 Professor, Department of Knowledge and Information Science, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran


Background and Objectives: The main purpose is to provide a qualitative book distribution model in Iran. Identifying the status of book distribution, factors and elements affecting book distribution, issues and problems of book distribution, and strategies to promote book distribution in Iran are among the sub-objectives of the article.
Methodology: The research is applied in terms of purpose, qualitative in terms of approach, and grounded theory in terms of research method. Data is collected through a series of semi-structured interviews. The statistical population of the study included ten experts in the field of book distribution and publishing in Iran, all of whom were active in the field of distribution. Some of them also produce or sell in addition to distribution. Two distribution experts were first purposefully identified, and the next individuals were introduced through the snowball method. The interviews continued until the theoretical saturation was reached. MAXQDA software was used to analyze the data obtained from the interview. At this stage, by carefully examining the data, first the concepts, then the categories and subcategories (characteristics) were determined. After identifying the main category through the paradigm of contexts, causal conditions, main strategies, intervening variables and consequences of book distribution in Iran were identified.
Findings: The research findings express the status of distribution in Iran with the following categories: government interference in distribution, low demand, lack of reading culture, weakening of bookstores, investment risk, unprofitability, legal problems, union interference, lack of use of technology, weakness of trade unions, inadequate distribution and diversity of small distributors. Positive and negative factors affecting book distribution include categories of government support, political changes, proper oversight laws, distribution economics, economic status of the people, high profitability, publishing economics, demand, distribution concentration in Tehran, distribution professionalism, professional processes and procedures of distribution, book quality, trade union interaction, specialized distribution, audience needs assessment, advertising and marketing, the relationship between distributors and other factors of production and consumption, legal protections, proportionality between publishers, distributors and booksellers, trade unions, distribution class recognition, the proportion between production and consumption, proper supply showcase, having a comprehensive statistical system and new technologies. Issues and problems of book distribution in Iran are found in the following categories: unprincipled support of publishing, weakness of regulatory and supportive institutions, lack of effective supervision over the publishing industry, lack of supervision over book distribution, lack of reading culture, advertising costs, lack of return on investment, uneconomical distribution profession, uneconomical publishing, book price increase, bookstore economics, weak laws, trade union interference, lack of comprehensive information system, book smuggling, unprofessional distribution, unprofessional publishing, lack of supply showcase, low book quality, unprofessional bookstores, the diversity of small distributors, the disregard for advertising in distribution, and the lack of universal distribution. Findings from the research with the following categories suggest strategies for improving the distribution of books in Iran: increase the supply and display of books, prevent bookmaking, government support, strengthen distribution, increase the supply and display of books, strengthen the professional knowledge of publishers, distributor and publisher information interaction, strengthening professional distributors, formulating appropriate laws and regulations, introducing and encouraging selected works, non-interference of the government in the field of distribution, preventing trade union interference, designing and implementing the appropriate model and creating comprehensive statistical and information system.
Discussion: In terms of political characteristics, lack of appropriate protections, appropriate laws and regulations, in terms of cultural characteristics, weak reading culture and low demand for books, in terms of economic characteristics, the most important of which are lack of profitability or very low profit in distribution, inflation and book prices, in terms of infrastructure characteristics, union interference and lack of supply showcase and lack of comprehensive information system and in terms of professional characteristics, unprofessional factors and a large number of small distributors and the impossibility of advertising, are important factors in creating this situation. One of the reasons for the weakness of the distribution sector is the infancy of the profession and the lack of knowledge of distributors in introducing and convincing booksellers to buy books, which is in dire need of strengthening and support. The impact of the general policies of the government and government institutions, especially the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance, on removing barriers, issues and problems of distribution is very instructive. Because the distribution profession is an intermediary between the producer and the consumer, the success of these professions is not ineffective and separate from each other. Targeted government support activates the book cycle and ultimately eliminates the shortcomings of this chain. Government oversight and justice not only boosts the distribution sector, but also the book industry in all sectors (production, distribution, sales), but this support should oversee the creation of book-related infrastructure.


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