retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Wall Street Journal reports that Barnes & Noble has declared that it will snot sell any of the paper-and-ink books being published by any of the imprints owned by rival Amazon.com, saying that the online behemoth has "undermined the industry" by trying to sign exclusive agreements with publishers, agents and authors.

The Journal notes that the move “is likely to exacerbate tensions between the two book selling giants. Amazon is dominant in Web sales of print books, while the two companies are locked in an intense battle for the e-book market where Amazon's Kindle e-reader competes with Barnes & Noble's Nook.”

And, the New York Times writes that “it signals clearly that Barnes & Noble has no intention of helping its largest competitor sell books,” and could undermine Amazon’s efforts to sign authors who expect their books to be sold in Barnes & Noble’s 703 stores across the country, crucial real estate for sales of many titles.”
KC's View:
I’ll just speak for myself here ... as an author, a very small fish in a very big ocean.

This move by Barnes & Noble could impact authors of greater import and sales potential, but for the vast majority of writers out there, it won’t make a difference because dealing with Barnes & Noble can be an enormous pain in the neck. Comparatively, getting one’s book on Amazon is pretty easy.

What surprises me a little bit is that Amazon would want its books sold at Barnes & Noble - I would have expected that Amazon would not want its major competitor to have those books, that it would have wanted some level of exclusivity. (Though there may be some antitrust issues here.)

BTW...in my FaceTime commentary tomorrow I’ll be talking about a conversation I had with a writer who went from paper-and-ink books to e-books, and what broader marketing lessons his experiences provide.