PW reports that Books-a-Million, the OTHER book chain remaining, has also ordered DC’s top 100 GNs removed from their shelves in retaliation for DC’s signing a digital four-month exclusive with Amazon.
Now Books-A-Million is following suit and removing the 100 DC graphic novels from its shelves as well, until the books are made available to all retailers in all formats, digital and print. Books-A-Million operates about 211 stores in 23 states.
In a release issued by Books-A-Million, president Terry Finley said, “due to DC Comics plan to sell the digital format of their top 100 graphic novels exclusively through Amazon’s Kindle Fire, BAM Stores are currently removing physical copies of these titles from our shelves.” Finley said that supporting any publisher that “selectively limits distribution of their content,” is not in the interest of BAM customers. “We will not promote titles in our stores showrooms if publishers choose to pursue these exclusive arrangements that create an uneven playing field in the marketplace.”
Whie giving up holiday sales for WATCHMEN and THE DARK KNIGHT, two of the best selling GNs of all times, still seems a bit shortsighted, this move — first from Barnes & Noble and now from BAM — is a reminder that in the BOOK world, digital sales are beating paperback sales already. Digital comics sales have been compared to dental floss by at least one publisher — and all the numbers we’ve seen seem to bear this out — but the potential is so much greater that the chains are cutting off guaranteed sales in protest of lost potential.
It might seem crazy, but from where they’re sitting, it makes total sense.
Also, part of this whole deal is a huge war going on behind the scenes between Amazon and the chains which we’re just beginning to hear about.
Probably DC’s digital crew is just beginning to hear about it as well…and they probably wish they hadn’t. In fact, we imagine some people at DC were looking something like this when the news broke:
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.