Barnes & Noble policy effects students

Keith Kaczmarek, Reporter

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Barnes & Noble has recently been in the news since announcing that it will not stock Amazon.com books, but this complex issue should not affect college students that use bookstores run by Barnes & Noble like the Bakersfield College Bookstore.

The conflict between Barnes & Noble and Amazon.com has been brewing for years as the publishing industry and bookselling industries have adapted to the rise of online retailers like Amazon, but Amazon’s recent decision to enter the publishing world by creating publishing houses and keep the exclusive rights to distribute those books in electronic form has put them further into conflict with traditional publishers.

In response, Barnes & Noble has stated that they will not stock the physical books of titles in their 703 stores if those titles’ ebook versions are exclusively sold on Amazon.com.

Mary Ellen Keating, the media contact for Barnes & Noble stated, “Barnes & Noble College Booksellers’ primary mission is to support the educational mission of the college and universities we serve. We will continue to stock books, as requested or required by professors, as we always do. While we have made a decision not to stock Amazon published titles in our Retail Stores, based on Amazon’s continued push for exclusivity with publishers, agents and the authors they represent, this has no bearing on our commitment to have every required book for every student on the campuses we serve.”

Amazon did not respond to the Rip’s inquiries.

The New York Times reported that Barnes & Noble has removed titles from its stores before, most notably removing DC Comics graphic novels from its stores for this same issue.

Amazon’s forays into the publishing business include the creation of “imprints”, or specialized publishing houses. These subsidiaries are 47North for “urban fantasies to space operas, alternate histories to gothic and supernatural horror,” Thomas and Mercer for thrillers and mysteries, Montlake Romance for romance novels, Amazon Encore for “emerging authors”, Amazon Crossing for translations, and The Domino Project for “a series of short books that will change things for the better, designed for individuals who love new ideas and for organizations of every size.”

Amazon also allows unknown authors to self-publish their titles on Amazon, and the company offers higher royalty rates to authors that promise to not use other services. This program is called “KDP Select” and it offers a proportionate share of a pool of money totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars each month to authors that chose to keep the electronic versions of their novels exclusive to Amazon as well as allow their titles to be lent to other Kindle users. This program pays authors a share proportioned by total books lent to other Kindle users electronically or read for free by subscribers to the Amazon Prime monthly service.

The news agency Reuters has also recently reported that Amazon intends to create physical stores to test the market, opening the first in Seattle, the corporate home of Amazon.

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