How dumb is this!  When your market is diminishing, and your revenues are diminishing, just go ahead and refuse opportunities to make money.  The booksellers won’t hurt Amazon, they will only hurt themselves. 

From Publishers Weekly:

Earlier this year when Houghton Mifflin Harcourt announced a licensing agreement with Amazon to publish and distribute all adult titles from Amazon Publishing’s New York office under the newly created New Harvest imprint, independent bricks-and-mortar booksellers as well as the nation’s two largest chains, Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million, said that they would not carry them in their stores. Among other reasons for the ban, they cited the fact that Amazon would retain exclusive rights to the e-book edition. With the first two books about to ship—Harley Manning and Kerry Bodine’s Outside In (shipping Aug. 1) and Jessica Valenti’s Why Have Kids?(Aug. 8)—PW got back in touch with booksellers to see if they have changed their minds about stocking their competitor’s titles and found little has changed. In fact over the past five months booksellers have become more entrenched about their decision.

One contributing factor is the growing awareness of the lack of transparency in the way Houghton sold previous one-off titles licensed from Amazon. This helped to account for strong bricks-and-mortar sales for novels like Oliver Potzsch’s The Hangman’s Daughter, which had been originally published by Amazon as an e-book before being sold by Houghton in print. For book two in the series, Dark Monk, a full-page ad in the New York Times Book Review in June made no mention of either Houghton or Amazon, another irritant to booksellers. The fact that indies said that Houghton sales reps have been up front that New Harvest titles—that are in the fall HMH catalogue– have been licensed from Amazon hasn’t made them anymore likely to carry the books.


  1. If selling your direct competitor’s branded products is such a great idea, why don’t local food markets sell their competitors’ store brands along with their own? Seems to me that Kroger should be selling A&P brands and ShopRite should be selling Stop ‘n Shop and Safeway brands.

  2. Suppose some of these Amazon/HM print books becomes best sellers, in some medium-large part because it’s available at B&N/BAM. Since they’re not available for the Nook, sold by B&N and BAM, it’s encouraging potential buyers who are interested in buying a new ereader to purchase the reader that locks the buyer into Amazon’s closed garden. Since B&N and BAM’s future also relies on people buying into the Nook closed garden, there’s no good reason to be selling copies of print books that will never be available for the Nook.

  3. A lot of hullabaloo about nothing. Why would B&N etc carry Amazon’s books ? Richard is right.
    And why does it matter anyway ? Everyone can get the books in a couple of days to their door from Amazon.
    No, I see no significance or implications in this situation.

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