Bookdwarf, who is apparently more quick on the draw with my hometown newspaper than I am, points to this interesting claim by A Clean Well-Lighted Place President Neal Sofman. Sofman discovered a study of Chicago merchants illustrating that local retailers recirculate more of their sales dollars into the local economy than do chains. The study in question can be found here. If this is indeed the case, then why are the big publishers spending a substantial chunk of their promotion money placing authors into large corporate venues like Borders (and, for that matter, withholding their authors from smaller and more independent media outlets)? Would not a more targeted and devoted audience of readers more inclined to buy books and shift cash into the local economy be a more effective marketing strategy?