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Sunday, 2 December 2012

Barnes and Noble ban a cook book in Amazon row!!!

The Four Hour Chef by Tim Ferriss is finding itself in the middle of a huge publishing row that highlights the contempt with which many publishers hold Amazon. The Four Hour Chef is one of the first titles published by Amazon's new imprint in both digital and print formats and many booksellers including Barnes and Noble and refusing to stock the title. Effectively the cook book is banned not because of content but due to the fact that it is published by big bad Amazon.

"I view things through a different lens. I think the implications of this boycott or ban — choose the word you prefer — are larger than people realize." Tim Ferriss

Ferriss though is not the kind of person to sit back and accept this unfortunate situation, but instead he has used it as part of his marketing, proudly proclaiming - BANNED BY BARNES AND NOBLE.

Last week the marketing started with the following piece appearing on a bit torrent site - “It’s poised to be the most banned book in U.S. history. The 4-Hour Chef is one of the first titles underneath Amazon’s new publishing imprint; boycotted by U.S. booksellers, including Barnes & Noble.” 

Ferriss’s book is simply one of several that Barnes & Noble will not stock in its stores because it is published by Amazon. As Barnes & Noble announced earlier this year, “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.”

It's a stupid decision by Barnes and Noble - yeah, we all have some concerns about Amazon's dominance but is banging another nail in their coffin lid the best way to combat Amazon? Surely providing the same range and excellent service is the way to go.

"If this book fails due to a retail stonewall, I can tell you for a fact that more than a dozen A-list authors I know will hit pause on plans for publishing innovation for the next few years. Is The 4-Hour Chef the same as Huckleberry Finn?  Of course not, and I never implied that it was. But do I view stifling innovation and free speech (through distribution of otherwise) as a malevolent thing? Yes. Regardless of the motive (moral, economic, etc.), the outcome is the same: regress instead of progress. " Tim Ferriss


Seriously Though said...

this was interesting, indeed. I think it will hurt Barnes and Noble in the long run, playing tit for tat. I miss my Borders Bookstore though. Email, blogs, websites,facebook is all I can stand to read electronically, so I don't really care about ebooks.

G. B. Miller said...

I find this incredibly funny.

B&N (not known for their customer service to begin with) is using the same strategy that some book reviewers use when it comes to self-published books.

Granted, there are some self-pubbed books that rot, but there are a lot of ones out there that don't.

Why clip your bottom line simply because you can't get your own way anymore?

Gary Dobbs/Jack Martin said...

Yeah Barnes and Noble have made the wrong choice here.