Barnes & Noble Wages Cold War Against Amazon

North American booksellers Barnes & Noble, Indigo Books and Music, and Books-a-Million are waging a “cold war” against Amazon following the announcement that Houghton Mifflin Harcourt will publish print editions of Amazon Publishing East Coast titles. The brick-and-mortar stores refuse to stock Amazon’s print titles. Jaime Carey, chief merchandizing officer of Barnes & Noble, said in a statement that “[Amazon’s] actions have undermined the industry as a whole and have prevented millions of customers from having access to content. It’s clear to us that Amazon has proven they would not be a good publishing partner to Barnes & Noble as they continue to pull content off the market for their own self interest.”

This is an interesting story to keep tabs on. Publishers have always had a perilous symbiotic relationship with Amazon, and I wonder of HMH partnering with them will illicit reaction from the “Big 6” publishers. According to Paul Biba, the Big 6 could take steps to boost competition, such as offering exclusive deals to Kobo and B&N during the initial release of expected ebook best-sellers.

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