Is it true that copies of The URANTlA Book are no longer available in bookstores?

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Question: I understand that the Foundation has stopped selling books through distributors. Is it true that copies of The URANTlA Book are no longer available in bookstores?

Answer: Copies are not only available in and from bookstores, but the Trustees are also succeeding in reversing the 1980s trend of fewer bookstores carrying The URANTIA Book. The direction now is clearly toward increasing availability through bookstores.

In late 1990, when the Trustees completed our review of the Foundation's distribution policy, we concluded that the high volume of sales to commercial distributors was cutting us off from the desired level of direct contact with readers. The Trustees were also aware that other organizations buying through distributors were disseminating their own literature along with The URANTIA Book.

From 1974 to 1979, at a time when URANTIA Foundation sold 10,000 copies of The URANTIA Book per year, no copies were sold to commercial distributors. Instead, all sales were made directly to bookstores and individuals. In 1974, 1,500 copies were sold to individuals and 8,500 to bookstores; in 1979, 2,500 copies were sold to individuals, and 7,500 to bookstores. However, commencing with the use of distributors in the early 1980s there was a decline in sales of books to individuals and bookstores and this became notable by the end of the decade. Thus, from 1987 to 1990, only 13 percent of the copies sold went directly to individuals, and only 12 percent went directly to bookstores. The remaining 75 percent were sold to commercial distributors, and of that, only a small fraction ended up on bookstore shelves. But the truly significant statistic is that annual sales of The URANTlA Book continued to average 10,000 copies per year. In other words, though not a priority, overall sales of The URANTIA Book did not increase by means of commercial distributors.

Our consideration of these facts made it clear that a new approach was necessary, and we are pleased that it is resulting in an increased availability of the book in bookstores.

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