What began as a “simmering feud” during the Christmas selling season, when Amazon launched a promotion offering users discounts for purchasing products scanned in bricks-and-mortar stores, has escalated into “full-scale war,” according to an article in The Globe and Mail. Late last week, news broke that Indigo was joining the U.S. chains Barnes & Noble and Books-a-Million in refusing to stock books put out by Amazon’s burgeoning publishing arm. Those books include new work by heavy hitters like James Franco and Deepak Chopra, as well as a memoir by actor and director Penny Marshall, which Amazon acquired for a rumoured $800,000 advance.
The boycott is in response to what many considered to be predatory practices on the part of Amazon. The Globe quotes an email from Indigo vice-president Janet Eger, who writes that “Amazon’s actions are not in the long-term interests of the reading public or the publishing and book retailing industry, globally.”
Today, The Bookseller published an article providing more detail about Barnes & Noble’s reasons for implementing their boycott:
In a statement, B&N chief merchandising officer Jaime Carey said: “Barnes & Noble has made a decision not to stock Amazon published titles in our store showrooms. Our decision is based on Amazon’s continued push for exclusivity with publishers, agents and the authors they represent. These exclusives have prohibited us from offering certain e-books to our customers. Their actions have undermined the industry as a whole and have prevented millions of customers from having access to content. It’s clear to us that Amazon has proven they would not be a good publishing partner to Barnes & Noble as they continue to pull content off the market for their own self interest.”
In her email to the Globe, Eger states, Indigo Founder and CEO Heather Reisman has congratulated Barnes & Noble for taking a leadership stance on the matter, and offers kudos.
The latest front in the bookselling wars comes amid rumours that Amazon may be planning to open a bricks-and-mortar store of its own in the not-too-distant future.