Amazon’s Kindle Fire made waves and received a lot of praise upon its announcement, but not everyone was so happy to see it. Barnes & Noble, a direct competitor of Amazon, was not happy about the deal it made with DC Comics to have 100 graphic novels exclusively digitized on the Amazon Fire. In response, Barnes & Noble removed physical copies of those 100 books from its store shelves.
The graphic novels include fan favorites like Batman, The Green Lantern, The Sandman, and V for Vendetta. Nevertheless, Barnes & Noble made it clear that it would no longer stock physical copies of its books in stores if the publishers are not willing to make existing digital copies available on the Nook, its own e-reader and Kindle competitor.
Jaime Carey, Barnes & Noble’s chief merchandising officer explained, “We will not stock physical books in our stores if we are not offered the available digital format.”
DC Comics, however, seemed generally shocked by the news. The Kindle Fire will not even be released until November 15, and the publisher responded by saying that it had not closed the door on any future deals. In other words, it might have been willing to sell digital copies on the Nook as well.
In a situation like this, it is clear that money is not the issue. Barnes & Noble is taking cash off the table by removing books from its shelves. This is clearly personal and is aimed directly at Amazon, which continues to benefit from its ubiquitous online presence, while brick and mortar stores, even those with online storefronts, struggle to catch up. Unfortunately, if Barnes & Noble was trying to score points in the arena of public opinion, it may have struck out.
Yet, Barnes & Noble has been supported by Public Relations entities, including Fleishman Hillard & 5WPR.