Today’s topic was a very tough choice for me. I had to decide if I wanted to jump on the Amazon incest wagon, or if I wanted to discuss something that really mattered. I chose the latter. Let me begin by stating my usual disclaimer when talking about independent bookstores. I love them independently. I do not love them all, nor do I respect them all.
I would like to congratulate Centuries & Sleuths in Forest Park, IL and Once Upon a Crime in Minneapolis, MN for their outstanding achievements and recognition by Mystery Writers of America with their Raven Award. These stores are by far exceptional and are the examples that all bookstores should aspire to emulate. Kudos!
However, not all do. It was brought to my attention by one of my authors this week that they are unable to work with one (or more) of their local independent bookstores because…wait for it…they are associated with Amazon.com! My blood boils just to think about it.
I have looked at every avenue I could, and even had two bookstores go into their systems to check and the only connection we can find is that we sell the book at Amazon.com. Really? A bookstore won’t sell a book that is being sold by Amazon.com? Is this good business?
Little do they know that this particular author is one of our best-selling authors. The author sells 30-40 copies at most events and actually promotes the book, sending people to the stores that do stock it. These other stores don’t seem to be threatened by Amazon.com. Nor do they use Amazon.com as a weak crutch for not dealing with independently published authors.
Okay, I have to ask this. Do these small books stores who are NOT carrying our books really think that we are going to stop doing business with Amazon.com on the off chance that one of them MIGHT decide to carry ONE of our books? How can they possibly think this makes sense?
How can they possibly justify whining that Amazon.com is STEALING their business when they REFUSE to carry books that actually sell? Amzon.com is NOT stealing their business, those bookstores are simply not practicing good business. When you have a demand and someone is willing to supply you products to meet those demands, if you say no you have no one to blame except yourself for the loss of sales. Amazon.com is offering a service that those stores are NOT. So stop whining because you can’t pay your bills.
And what about their readers? Don’t they owe it to their readers to keep them FULLY abreast of what is avaialble on the market? Readers deserve to see what’s new and glorious in the book world and some of the brightest stars shine from independent publishers.
I would like to thank a few of the stores who do work with us and who enjoy the benefits of selling our books.
The Mystery Bookstore: Los Angeles, CA (featuring LINCOLN’S HAND by Joel Fox at #9 on their 2010 Best Seller list.)
Once Upon a Crime: Minneapolis, MN (recipient of the MWA Raven Award 2010)
Centuries and Sleuths: Forest Park, IL (recipient of MWA Raven Award 2010, featuring THREE STRIKES YOU’RE DEAD by Robert Goldsborough on their 2010 3rd Quarter Best Seller list, THE LIGHTHOUSE KEEPER by Luisa Buehler and A PRESIDENT IN PERIL by Robert Goldsborough on their 2009 Best Seller list, and THREE STRIKES YOU’RE DEAD by Robert Goldsborough and CASH & CARRY by Tim Broderick)
The Mysterious Galaxy: San Diego, CA (featuring MADNESS AND MURDER by Jenny Hilborne on their Best Seller list)
Amazon really isn’t that evil… really… And Reggie has a good point. They’d be pretty short of books if they didn’t sell anything that Amazon sells, because I’m pretty sure Amazon sells everything.
Those independent bookstores are not being fair. Does this mean they would not sell a Stephen King book because it is also available at Amazon?