Nov 9 2007
My eyebrows raised a bit when I read this article on Shelf Awareness this morning. On Tuesdays, Shelf Awareness shared the policy of Rainy Day Book’s, an independent bookstore in Kansas, to refuse to stage signings and readings for authors whose websites and emails have a book purchase link to Amazon but not to Booksense.
Shelf Awareness then followed up with emails from a few Booksense members. One bookstore owner said it was Booksense’s way of competing with Amazon because their brand isn’t strong enough.
We independent booksellers understand that Amazon controls the Web. People click, money (some) rolls in. BookSense doesn’t have a brand strong enough to compete.
But authors and publishers will likewise have to understand that we don’t like this situation, and will push back in any way that we have available to us. That includes not scheduling events with authors and publishers who are actively trying to drive business to our competition.
Michael Herrmann, Gibson’s Bookstore, Concord, N.H.
Joe Foster, ordering manager at Maria’s Bookshop, Durango, Colo., argues that it is a “moral” for customers to buy locally and that authors should not “alienate a broad sweep of its customer base in the name of simple lazy expedience” by linking solely to Amazon.
Kerry Slattery, general manager, Skylight Books, Los Angeles, Calif. wants authors to give readers a choice of where to buy books.