Tag Archives: Barnes and Noble

Warning Salvo Off the Amazon Bow

There have been countless underhanded salutes, passive aggressive back-turns, and middle finger smiles between Amazon, publishing houses such as Random House and Penguin (Merger News), and book stores such as Barnes & Noble, each selfishly buttressing themselves against the storm that is swirling in the literary world.

In that vein, Barnes & Noble has unloaded a warning salvo off Amazon’s bow by refusing to stock any authors’ books who are directly published through Amazon; specifically, Timothy Ferriss, writer of The 4-Hour Workweek, The 4-Hour Body, and his newest The 4-Hour Chef.

Interestingly enough, Timothy Ferriss came to New Jersey and trained with a friend of mine while researching for The 4-Hour Body – look for the Asshole at DeFranco’s if you happen to read the book.

But I digress.

You can’t fault Barnes & Noble for not wanting to stock a competitor’s books – although they would receive a percentage of the sale, the majority heads back to the publisher, who, in this case, is Amazon.

But Barnes & Noble is playing a very dangerous game by taking on Amazon, who is far and away the titan of book-selling. It is undoubtedly going to become a habit of one-upmanship - if this were 1885, there would be showdowns at high noon – and each company will hack away at the legs of one another.

Random House and Penguin merged in an effort to defend against Amazon – and many believe more publishing houses will merge in the foreseeable future – so this is Barnes & Noble’s attempt to ward off the Evil Empire that is Amazon, who have become the Yankees and Patriots of the book world.

It will be interesting to see who takes the next shot and what sort of power they put behind it.

Amazon Struggles For Literary Control

A few weeks ago I mentioned that Barnes and Noble and Amazon were entangled in a publishing-world tiff that boiled down to a struggle for control of literary dollars. And the reprecussions of this battle have now affected the Independent Publisher’s Group (IPG).

Amazon announced that it was pulling 4,000 e-book titles from its shelves after their contract with IPG lapsed and they were unable to tinker more Amazon-friendly terms; more money for them, less for IPG. The pressure to do so not only stemmed from Wall Street, but the battle to control the entire digital market. This is terrible for both IPG, one of the largest distributors in the country, and authors who rely on e-book sales to buoy their financial streams (authors who do not obtain those high-flying $100K+ advances).

Amazon is seeking to cutout the middlemen, distributors, by dealing directly with authors, which may mean more revenue for both parties, but it is a dangerous ploy to cement your corporate policy with nothing but greenbacks and the blood of your rivals. Amazon has gone and drank the champagne while the best man was still making his speech.

It is also a tremendously bold and stupid move on their part. Word of mouth is what drives the publishing business – your best friend suggested a book, then you hawked it to a cousin, and so on and so forth. And word of mouth can also damage the reputably of a company such as Amazon, and I’m certain this will be a self-inflicted broadside attack on the colossal industry leader.

Barnes and Noble and Apple are already trumpeting the fact that they continue to carry the 4,000 titles that have been affected.

The SFWA is redirecting all links away from Amazon and toward their rivals.

The fallout is certain to escalate in the coming weeks as Amazon continues to deflect direct flak fire. Authors and readers will certainly think twice before signing directly with the online retailer, knowing that Amazon has a blatant disregard for the well being of those who drive their e-book business – the authors and readers.

Barnes & Noble Sticks Its Tongue Out at Amazon

Another bit of older news that I have wanted to plaster but was sidetracked by evacuating that burning school procrastination.

Barnes & Noble has withdrawn from its stores Amazon’s book catalog. While B&N claims that the reason is because Amazon blocks readers from accessing certain e-books, the truth of the matter seems to be that B&N is simply attempting to cut the legs out from beneath the online giant.

This comes in the wake of Amazon acquiring dozens of backlisted books and becoming co-creator of a new imprint (not to mention their other 5) with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Amazon is a threat to not only brick and mortar bookstores, but publishing houses as well, and B&N seems to be doing what it can to impede their process.

Obviously this exchange of blows comes down to money and the signing of authors, but I believe that this heavyweight bout, when it is all said and done, will have major reprecussions in the realm of authorship and publishing.

If you are a reader, writer, a mix of both, or a fan of perusing bookshelves for hours on end, this is definitely one to keep an eye on.

You can read further about Amazon’s NYC head Laurence Kirshbaum and his vendetta entitled “Amazon Wants To Burn The Book Industry”.