Thursday, February 19, 2009

Indies fail to see the Sunnyside
18.02.09 Catherine Neilan writing in The Bookseller

A number of independent booksellers have threatened a boycott of the paperback edition of Glen David Gold's new novel Sunnyside in response to Sceptre's exclusive deal for Waterstone's to sell the hardback. Others have said they are considering removing the publisher from any recommended lists, or that they will "think twice" about ordering books from Sceptre in future.

Booksellers were mobilised after Sceptre's James Spackman sent an email with information about the exclusive Waterstone's arrangement late last week. Emails were then sent between booksellers, calling for "collective" action to protest against the move.
One bookseller said she would buy a copy of the book from Waterstone's if she was approached by a customer for one, while another said they would source copies from US websites, such as or eBay.

Responding to criticism from indies, Spackman said that "this is the only Waterstone's exclusive we have planned", and "the idea of an independent-exclusive publication in future is far from out of the question, and I'd welcome ideas on that". The publisher has also confirmed it was planning "independent-exclusive signed editions of the paperback" for October, alongside "exclusive POS and extra discount". However, he acknowledged: "These things don't completely make up for no hardback, but I think they demonstrate a willingness to offset the lack of it."

But indies spoken to by The Bookseller still dubbed the move "appalling" and sickening". Stephen Poulter, of Books@Hoddesdon, said he and "three or four" other booksellers were planning to boycott the paperback as part of what was described in an email as a "collective response". "If a customer wants it we will order one, but I'm not stocking it," he said. "I don't see any reason why we should support the paperback if that is what they are doing. It's a very effective way of showing how we feel about it. This is the last thing we need in the current situation." He added:"We will also bear this in mind when we are ordering in future. It will certainly make us think twice."
Read the full story at The Bookseller.

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