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S&S, B&N in Dispute over Terms

4 February 2013

From Publishers Weekly:

Simon & Schuster and Barnes & Noble are locked in a dispute over terms. Although the exact nature of the disagreement is not yet clear, B&N has significantly reduced its orders from S&S. The main reason for the cutback seems to be, according to sources, B&N’s perceived lack of support from S&S.

. . . .

Unlike the disputes Amazon had with Macmillan and Independent Publishers Group, where the e-tailer pulled the buy buttons from titles released by those companies, B&N is continuing to carry S&S books, though quantities have been reduced.

Link to the rest at Publishers Weekly

Big Publishing, Bookstores

6 Comments to “S&S, B&N in Dispute over Terms”

  1. Hmm, less books ordered = less books returned.
    That’s a pressure tactic? 😉

    I’m not sure that is a particularly good negotiating move: S&S might discover they really don’t need that extra shelf space after all.

    • Less books ordered = paying for most of the new books with the return credits from the old ones, instead of cash. I have heard that several publishers took some pretty hard hits during the period when Borders was circling the drain, because they had to keep shipping new books to that chain without receiving any new money for them.

      However, this is the first time I’ve heard of a chain deliberately using this technique as a pressure tactic.

  2. BTW, this quote caught my eye:
    “As we indicated in our holiday sales report earlier this month, sales of our core business, inclusive of books and magazines, exceeded our expectations, especially physical books.”

    So the bad sales they got were *less* bad than the bad sales they expected?

    Not something I’d brag about, but if that’s their way of projecting (Python-esque) confidence…

    “Not dead yet!”

    • What got me was that they’re saying sales of physical books exceeded their expectations, so of course the logical thing to do is cut orders of said physical books? Because…that’s how you continue to have physical book sales exceed expectations?

      Does not compute.

  3. Well, I have a different take than Felix. My take: Is S&S crazy??

    With all of this talk about how important B&N is to the Big Five, both in terms of the survival of print and independence from Amazon, what on earth is S&S thinking??

    When you basically have one outlet left, you treat them well.

    I admit I don’t know the details, so maybe there is some compelling reason for S&S to aggravate their only major book outlet, but it’s hard to imagine what that could be. Overall I continue to be amazed at the short-sightedness of the Big Publishers.

  4. If Amazon had cut back their orders of S&S books, there would be mobs with pitchforks and flames.

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