Life without Amazon? Barefoot Books is the David that cut ties to Goliath(Read article summary)
Massachusetts-based publisher Barefoot Books had previously cut ties with Barnes & Noble and Borders.
Mary Knox Merrill
The lion and the mouse, the underdog and the bully, David and Goliath. However you frame it, itâ€™s big news when a publisher decides to cut ties with Amazon.Â
Barefoot Books, a small childrenâ€™s publishing house in Cambridge, Mass., announced this week that it has decided to stop selling its books on Amazon.
â€śThe challenges we have faced doing business with Amazon over the years are similar to those we experienced selling to the big box retail chains,â€ť Barefoot Booksâ€™ co-founder and CEO Nancy Traversy said in a news release. â€śPersonal relationships with buyers are rare, particularly when youâ€™re a small publisher. Our books become commodities that are usually heavily discounted and Amazon often starts selling them before we have even received our advance copies from the printer.â€ť
Since its founding in 1993, Barefoot Books has published more than 500 multicultural childrenâ€™s books to â€śhelp children on their journey to become happy, engaged members of the global communityâ€ť and to â€ścreate a worldwide network of story-lovers who believe in the importance of imagination in childrenâ€™s lives.â€ť
This isnâ€™t the first time Barefoot Books has walked away from a large distributing partner. In 2006, it stopped selling books to Barnes and Noble and Borders, citing its commitment to its core values, among which is providing â€śan authentic alternative to the commercialization of childhood.â€ť
If theyâ€™ve cut ties with Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and the now-defunct Borders, where is Barefoot selling its books?
As Publishers Weekly writes, the childrenâ€™s publisher will â€śfocus on selling direct through its bookstore/studios in Concord, Mass., and Oxford, England, and its boutique in FAO Schwarz in New York City.â€ť It will also offer its books on its website, and expand its â€śAmbassadorâ€ť network of home-based sellers.
Itâ€™s a bold move, to say the least, and one that has us wondering: Might this be the beginning of an exodus from Amazon?
In fact, itâ€™s unlikely many publishers will follow suit, but itâ€™s sure to give other publishers ideas of an existence without Amazon.
Husna Haq is a Monitor correspondent.