On Wednesday the American Booksellers Association's for-profit subsidiary, IndieCommerce, began removing all Amazon titles from its database. The actions followed decisions by Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million and Indigo to not carry Amazon Publishing titles.
In an e-mail message that went out Monday to indie bookstores that rely on the IndieCommerce Web platform, director Matt Supko wrote, “While Amazon is seeking to distribute its print catalog through conventional means, it seems that they are simultaneously pursing a strategy of locking in ebook exclusives which other retailers are not allowed to sell. IndieCommerce believes that this is wrong.” Not only has IndieCommerce decided not to list these titles, but it has created a new policy that states “only publishers’ titles that are made available to retailers for sale in all available formats will be included in the IndieCommerce inventory database.”
Individual stores can add Amazon titles to their Web site as a custom product, and some stores in New England have been discussing on the NEIBA listserv whether they will have an in-store presence for print books by local authors who publish with Amazon. Many already carry CreateSpace titles from local writers.
As to how the new policy will affect other publishers who launch promotions with specific retailers that give them an exclusive for a format for a few weeks or months, Supko says that that will be determined on a case by case basis. Right now Amazon is the only publisher that is affected by the policy.