retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Publishers Weekly reports that Barefoot Books, a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based publisher of children's books and educational titles, announced that its books no longer will be available on Amazon.com.

The announcement was in character: Seven years ago, Barefoot Books stopped doing business with Barnes & Noble and Borders.

According to the story, Barefoot "will focus on selling direct through its bookstore/studios in Concord, Mass., and Oxford, England, and its boutique in FAO Schwarz in New York City. It will also continue to sell direct on its Web site and to expand its Ambassador network of home-based sellers, which has been growing at a rate of 16% a month, according to Barefoot."

“As entrepreneurs, we admire Amazon and its groundbreaking accomplishments,” cofounder/CEO Nancy Traversy. is quoted as saying. “However, Barefoot’s commitment is to diversity and to grassroots values. Living Barefoot is about creating a sustainable model, which enables individuals to build small-scale businesses.”

Traversy tells PW that "she was unhappy with having Barefoot titles heavily discounted at the e-tailer, which sometimes began selling them before the press even received advance copies from the printer."
KC's View:
If Barefoot can grow its business and its authors' readership without access to Barnes & Noble and Amazon, then more power to it.

It does have an advantage, I think, because of the niches it occupies. I'm not sure other publishers and authors would be well-served by the same strategy.

I can tell you this. Based on our experience with "The Big Picture," Michael Sansolo and I cannot even imagine going to market without Amazon as a sales venue. Barnes & Noble was impossible to deal with, but getting on Amazon was relatively easy ... and not only have we sold thousands of books, but Amazon continues to be a viable and, dare I say, sustainable, marketing tool.