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Barnes & Noble won’t carry Amazon-published titles in stores

John Moe Feb 1, 2012

For an industry that’s been around since Gutenberg (not Steve, Johannes), publishing is sure speeding up and getting confusing lately. Acrimonious too. Latest is that Barnes & Noble physical stores will not carry print versions of books published by Amazon.com under its own imprint. B&N says its policy is not to carry any book that it can’t also offer on it’s Nook electronic reader and, of course, Amazon printed books are Kindle exclusives.

Here’s the statement from B&N and I wonder if the same word catches your eye as catches mine:

Barnes & Noble has made a decision not to stock Amazon published titles in our store showrooms. Our decision is based on Amazon’s continued push for exclusivity with publishers, agents and the authors they represent. These exclusives have prohibited us from offering certain eBooks to our customers. Their actions have undermined the industry as a whole and have prevented millions of customers from having access to content.

Showrooms? Showrooms! Wow. Okay, what’s a showroom? A showroom is where you display something that you intend to sell somewhere else. When you go to a new car dealer, you don’t actually buy the car on the floor, you buy one like it. Is Barnes & Noble saying that it wants you to look at the books in the store and then buy them on the Nook? I mean, it would make sense, I suppose. If the store sells fewer books, it doesn’t have to restock, ship inventory, or otherwise interact with the physical world. But showrooms?

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