(Articles in Publisher’s Weekly and The Bookseller)
US publisher Educational Development Corporation (EDC) is withdrawing the sale of its Usborne titles from Amazon. EDC’s president, Randall White said:
the decision to pull 1,500 titles between the Usborne and Kane Miller lines was a stance against Amazon’s attempts to “gain control of publishing and other industries by making it impossible for other retailers to compete effectively”. [our highlight]
He added: “I see this as critical to the long-term growth of EDC, and a way to demonstrate our support of the local booksellers, museum shops, gift stores, and others who sell our books to consumers. We also have an incredibly devoted direct sales force of independent sales consultants who make their living selling our books at home parties, to schools and libraries and via the internet. We want to support them in every way we can, and we’ve seen how, working together, not only can we survive without Amazon, but we can thrive.”
EDC said sales of Kane Miller titles had increased more than 33% since they were removed from Amazon in 2009, with the company’s total online sales accounting for 13% of its business.
The move by EDC comes following a row between Amazon and the Independent Publishers Group in the US after the former removed all the distributor’s e-books from its site when the IPG would not agree to giving the retailer a higher discount rate when its contract came up for renewal.
The disagreement with the IPG came about because:
Amazon.com pulled the sale of over 4,000 e-books in the US after a fracas over terms with the American distributor Independent Publishers Group. The US IPG represents over 500 publishers and had 4,443 digital titles selling on Amazon, which have now been removed after the group would not agree to give Amazon a lower discount when its contract came up for renewal.
One publisher represented by the IPG is Alma Books, whose managing director, Alessandro Gallenzi, said:
“I am shocked at this use of power and monopoly and I am afraid they will try to do the same here too. It does not affect us because we sell directly to Amazon, but it is what happened with UK publishers a couple of years ago and if their margins are tight, I am afraid they will do it again. Amazon’s system relies on efficient delivery and service of books, though, and this is a big spanner in the works.”
Also, apparently, the Booksellers’ Association is in talks with 2 companies about helping independent UK bookshops to sell e-books…….