The New York Times is reporting the above. What do you think, ladies?
I've been watching this battle for a while, wondering how B&N was going to respond to the newer industry big'un. Fold or go head to head? Who is the Romney character in the passion play, and who the Gingrich?
B&N has over 700 stores across the nation. Their absence will surely put a ding in Amazon's bottom line - something to consider, as Amazon just posted something like 50% downturn in sales. (I'm remembering off the top of my head - I could be wrong about the number.)
You can bet your patootie that INDEPENDANT bookstores aren't going to step up to fill the retailer void left by B&N.
PS.: NYT article here:
B&N are within their right to do it IMO. Amazon tried to do this with Macmillan a few years ago because Macmillan didn't want to be strongarmed unto Amazon's ebook pricing...
If you read that article, you'll see that Amazon admits that "we will have to capitulate and accept Macmillan’s terms because Macmillan has a monopoly over their own titles." Amazon has power over their CreateSpace titles, but this case is different because this isn't about pricing, this is about stocking a certain product.
Amazon is now acting as PUBLISHER and not just a RETAILER. Big difference, if you ask me.
Amazon, as a retail competitor to B&N, cannot dictate price terms because that's price fixing and illegal, nor can they demand that B&N take their product.
At least that's my armchair, non-lawyer opinion.
B&N and Amazon are two different companies and Amazon has upped their campaign to try and do everything and become a publisher. If Amazon kept to just being a marketplace rather than become a publisher too, this might not have happened.
If Amazon is going to be a publisher, they have to accept that not everyone will take their books.
Would you expect a Christian bookstore to stock erotica and erotic romance? I don't think so.
Then again, maybe B&N are developing a service to compete with CreateSpace. I doubt it, but it's possible.
B&N, like any retailer, has the right to decide what products they will and will not sell. As far as any backlash, there are many people who haven't shopped in a physical bookstore in years. This won't affect those people at all because they'll go to some online outlet.
For a majority of us, B&N won't carry our books in their stores ANYWAY because we use print-on-demand technology (never mind that the big houses use POD technology too for their backlists. It's true hypocrisy). We have to find our market either online or try to work with independent booksellers who can be just as hard to reach as a chain store.
I don't use CreateSpace, but I think that in the grand scheme of things, I doubt it will discourage authors from using it.
Awesome point about MacMillian. I'd forgotten about that.
I'm one who thinks that competition is good for the marketplace. It keeps everyone on their toes.
Fair competitiion, that is. Even if some ploys are legal, they are not ethical. I am not one who believes that anything done in the name of profit is the right thing to do. Sleep is too important to me.
I had actually been wondering why B&N wasn't carrying my latest book, put out last July. (Yes, I use CreateSpace. Just switched from Lulu due to Lulu's poor distribution -- in fact, B&N doesn't carry my first two books, either, and finding the links to them for the digital, Smashwords editions is impossible, as well).
Seems that B&N may not be the retailer I'd hoped they were.
As for Amazon, we all know they are trying to take over publishing and run it the way they think it ought to be fun -- all about them and the hell with publishes and authors. We've watched them moving in this direction for years.
It's sad. Very sad. No one wins in this situation.
You're right, Susan. It is sad. But both Amazon and B&N are getting a taste of their own medicine because both are guilty of trying to take over their segment of industry. B&N drove countless indie stores out of business and Amazon is continually gorging itself to become bigger and badder.
When will businesses understand that you can't have a monopoly and expect to survive? You may think so in the short term, but eventually, the bigger you are, the harder you fall.
I'll be honest. I hope both B&N and Amazon get their hands smacked and indie sellers regroup and bounce back.
Indie booksellers need to break away from the buying model that major "traditional" publishers and chain bookstor.... What do I mean by that? Being forced to buy tons of books at a deep discount that they won't sell, and then return the unsold books--at any time in the future--and getting ALL their money back. This may benefit the bookstore but it damages the publisher AND the author.
If indie bookstores and indie publishers and self-published authors can build win-win relationships, B&N and Amazon can fight to the death and it won't matter.
I hadn't realized that this new move applies to B&N selling AMAZON (not CreateSpace) books in their stores. They'll still be available online. This applies to Amazon-published books.
(Link to GalleyCat: http://www.mediabistro.com/galleycat/barnes-noble-stores-will-not-s...)
I agree about the returns model. I am a big proponent of POD technology and Espresso machines. It could be very cool to see bookstores realize that if they are selling ten copies of Book X via the Espresso, so they order 5 copies to sit on a shelf... those five copies might sell! We do not have to be boxed into the Most Recently Published situation we have now. Backlists may sell better that way.
I'm speculating; no one really knows what the future holds. Personally, I'm tired of the posturing between everyone. Like you said, no one wins in a monopoly.
And as an indie author, I'm all for those win-win relationships. Just point me in the right direction and I am THERE.
Someone wrote a blog post a while back that presented a business model for bookstores to use Espresso machines in a retail situation. I wish I could find it! LOL
My husband and I thought about doing something like it in my parents' home town, which is in rural north Texas and they have no bookstore at all.
Who knows? As B&N and Amazon fight, this is the time for a group of entrepreneurs and indie stores to step in.
We thought about that for our retirement, opening a small coffee shop and offering my books for read while sipping and for sale to take home. I'll have enough on my own with 10 planned in the Allon YA fantasy series and a few historical fiction by the time I'm done. lol
Shawn, that's a great idea would be worth doing. In fact, it would be nice if more people or even co-ops did it and perhaps places that don't have a bookstore could get one.
I'm going to hunt for that blog post link!
You should check with McNally Books in New York. They have an Espresso book machine in the store and I believe are connected with the licensing of it.
"When will businesses understand that you can't have a monopoly and expect to survive?"
I see your point. Moving toward their jump of the shark, however, Amazon will make a ton of money.
Is that a bad? Now, I'm no Lou Dobbs. I have a strong set of ethics which does not include monopolies or price fixing.But the market is the market. Certain realities are inheret if not always pleasant.
I think it is outstanding of CreateSpace and other P.O.D./e-book printers to offer anyone who years for a book the ability to publish and distribute worldwide. But no one is owed a living in any industry. One of the problems I've found interacting with self-published and indy authors is an utter lack of understanding about the busines of publishing.
Not Amazon, not any successful books tore - chain or indie - got where they did because they were willing to take prisoners. Precious few authors, either.
I use Createspace and B&N has all my books - yes, online, but there have been sales through the expanded distribution channel. Also, I was invited to participate in a book signing of local authors at B&N. We did a consignment sale of my books during the signing. I found the staff to be top-notch and very welcoming of authors.
The reason they - bookstores (including independents) - won't carry PODs is due to the lack of a guarantee return/refund policy no questions asked. Until that changes, indies will have to work with individual stores willing to do a consignment type sale.
Having a no return/refund policy is a disadvantage, but consignment sales don't always work either. We've tried consignment with an indie before and the books disappeared along with any money due to us.
It really depends on how the store and the publisher work and if they're willing to negotiate.
Our house, for example, offer wholesale discounts to retailers, but we don't accept returns. However, we don't require a minimum purchase either. If a bookstore wants to order one book at a time, that's fine with us. We think this is a good deal because indie stores don't have to tie up tons of cash and hope to make their money back. Unfortunately, it's hard (but not impossible!) finding stores willing to do it.