Seven years after Barefoot Books in Cambridge, Mass., cut off Barnes & Noble and Borders, it announced that it has terminated its relationship with Amazon in North America and in the U.K. Instead, the children’s book publisher will focus on selling direct through its bookstore/studios in Concord, Mass., and Oxford, England, and its boutique in FAO Schwarz in New York City. It will also continue to sell direct on its Web site and to expand its Ambassador network of home-based sellers, which has been growing at a rate of 16% a month, according to Barefoot.
“As entrepreneurs, we admire Amazon and its groundbreaking accomplishments,” said cofounder and CEO Nancy Traversy. “However, Barefoot’s commitment is to diversity and to grassroots values. Living Barefoot is about creating a sustainable model, which enables individuals to build small-scale businesses.” Traversy said she was unhappy with having Barefoot titles heavily discounted at the e-tailer, which sometimes began selling them before the press even received advance copies from the printer.
Today’s announcement does not affect the sale of Barefoot’s titles to the education market or to independent bookstores and gift shops. According to the press, its relationships with wholesalers will not be affected.
Last year, Educational Development Corp., which employs thousands of home-based sellers for its titles, also cut its ties to Amazon in a bid to boost sales for its home reps.