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Officially Official

Barnes & Noble Pulls DC Graphic Novels Off Shelves After Kindle Deal


It’s official. Barnes & Noble book sellers have removed all DC Comics Graphic Novels from their store shelves after learning of the comic company’s exclusive digital deal with the Kindle Fire. DC responds with, “oh yeah, why don’t you go cry about it?” Just kidding, DC hasn’t actually responded to the news yet, but this is an interesting move by the bookseller. 

According to Publishers Weekly, “B&N spokesperson Mary Ellen Keating confirmed that B&N will cease selling the 100 graphic novels that DC Comics plans to sell exclusively through the Kindle Fire. ‘We pulled those 100 DC Comics graphic novels that we were not offered in digital format. Our policy is that unless we receive all formats of a title to make available to our customers, we will not sell those physical titles in our stores.’”

Physical copies can still be purchased through the B&N website or special ordered from physical stores. The move comes after DC’s announcement last week that it would offer 100 of its back-catalog of graphic novels, with more to come, on Kindle’s new color ereader only.

Jaime Carey, chief merchant of B&N, told PW, “regardless of the publisher, we will not stock physical books in our stores if we are not offered the available digital format. In recent instances, exclusive publisher deals have prohibited Barnes & Noble from selling certain eBooks, preventing millions of our digital customers from access to those titles. To sell and promote the physical book in our store showrooms, and not have the eBook available for sale would undermine our promise to Barnes & Noble customers to make available any book, anywhere, anytime.”

Did B&N attempt their own digital deal with DC? If so, I could understand the sour grapes but if not this just seems like a childish reaction and just an odd business strategy all-around. Aren’t physical book stores going out of business left and right? Wouldn’t you want to carry books that people still want to buy?

(via Publishers Weekly)

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  • http://bookoisseur.tumblr.com Rachael

    I don’t blame B&N at all. I hate any kind of exclusivity. Why can’t I shop where I want? I won’t buy from Amazon so I won’t be buying these titles unless I can find a brick & mortar store that stocks them.

  • http://twitter.com/wyatt_e Wψαττ S. Εδδψ

    If that’s their policy, I think that shows just how much they value their brick & mortar part of the business.

  • http://twitter.com/ladypembroke Beth Johnson

    As a Nook owner, I personally applaud the decision. I do not like being told where I can get my digital content.  It just seems to me that DC is working very hard this year to make certain people like me do not buy anything from them. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/ecurto1 Eric Curto

    B&N is making a huge mistake, but so is DC Comics, I mean not everyone wants to read a book on a computer screen, so the fact that they are diving so hard into the digital world, they are alienating those who like to open a book and smell the pages and put them on the shelves to show off

  • http://www.facebook.com/jocelynplease Jocelyn Dugan

    I don’t like exclusive deals but good on Amazon for locking that down. I would think though that comic readers would prefer a physical copy?

  • Anonymous

    So basically B&N’s response to DC is to hold their breath till their blue in the face. I’m sure that’ll teach them something about something.

  • Anonymous

    DC takes another giant step towards pissing off their readership entirely. 

  • http://twitter.com/InkyDavid David Marshall

    Barnes & Noble is run by idiots. Always has been. By removing a commercial venue for these 100 DC titles, they’re only driving business away to Kindle (or comic shops). Cutting off their own nose for spite … when will people grow up?

  • John MacLeod

    “To sell and promote the physical book in our store showrooms, and not have the eBook available for sale would undermine our promise to Barnes & Noble customers To sell and promote the physical book in our store showrooms, and not have the eBook available for sale would undermine our promise to Barnes n Noble customers to make available any book, anywhere, anytime.”

    So, in order to KEEP our promise “to make available any book, anywhere, anytime”, we will not sell these books. Um, okay.

  • http://www.commonplacebook.com electrasteph

    They’re still available on BN.com. I’ll just buy the physical copies there at pretty much the same price as Amazon. I can’t believe DC would sell to Amazon exclusively. Strange move for a publisher.

  • Anonymous

    ,..awesome.., 

  • Anonymous

    Some of us are old enough to remember when you could buy comic books in drugstores, supermarkets and other venues. Then Marvel decided it wanted more control of its own distribution. For a while you could only buy comic books in comic book stores, at least until B&N started stocking them. It sounds like DC wants better control of its own distribution, so if you don’t want it digital, you’ve got to find a comic book store. Comic book publishers, like all other publishers, always know what they’re doing when they try to control their distribution.

  • http://www.facebook.com/SithLibrarian Allen Kesinger

    This is…insane.

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  • John Wao

    What’s the expression about cutting your nose to spite your face….

    Have they stopped to think that their punishing me, the guy who doesn’t plan on buying a kindle but still may want to buy a DC graphic novel? Ironically if I can’t find it at my local B&N store I’ll order it through Amazon.

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  • Kathleen Fowler

    There is more to this, via the Publisher’s Weekly link at the bottom of the article.

    Personally, I’m with B&N on this one.  The media should be available to all devices that are capable of supporting it, not just one.  You don’t choose an mp3 player because that player gives you access to “exclusive” content.  You shouldn’t have to do the same for your e-reader. Although, based on the PW article, it looks like the content isn’t going to be exclusive for long, so maybe DC is wising up on something.

  • Michail Velichansky

    Ultimately this isn’t about B&N and DC, it’s about B&N and Amazon. Amazon throws it’s weight around and tries to drive everyone else out through undercutting, loss-leading and exclusives. B&N fights back by saying they won’t deal with exclusive-Amazon companies. DC let themselves be a volley in an ongoing fight between the two.

    I don’t really think any of this is good for consumers, in the end — not exclusives, not DC books being off the shelves at stores…

  • http://twitter.com/Riviare Kimberly

    I understand where they’re coming from, but the only ones this kind of stuff will hurt are B&N and its customers. “If we can’t have all formats we won’t do it at all”? All that does is encourage publishers to look to other companies that won’t make such demands. I’ve always bought through Amazon, Books a Million, or stores like Target, though. B&N can do what they like, it won’t effect me.

  • http://twitter.com/Riviare Kimberly

    I understand where they’re coming from, but the only ones this kind of stuff will hurt are B&N and its customers. “If we can’t have all formats we won’t do it at all”? All that does is encourage publishers to look to other companies that won’t make such demands. I’ve always bought through Amazon, Books a Million, or stores like Target, though. B&N can do what they like, it won’t effect me.

  • Matthew Lane

    There is no exclusivity mate. Its 100 books exclusive to the kindle app, which will run on any android, apple tablet device & the PC. Its no different then comixology having an exclusive on EVERY OTHER DC COMIC BEING SOLD DIGITALLY (to the point where its being sold in exactly the same method, using exactly the same means). Of course no one kicked up a fuss about that because no one used the dreaded “E” word to describe it.

    Fact is that B&N are just butthurt, because they refused to allow the amazon App into the Nook Colours app store & now its bitten them on the arse.

    As for brick and motar stores, you already have the choice of where to purchase your books from, but it would be asanine to not purchase physcial books from amazon because of some imagined slight, that only exists in the minds of the self entitled upper management of B&N.

  • Matthew Lane

    Um… you do realize that the Amazon App will be available on every platform except the Nook right. Of course its not on the Nook because B&N refused to allow it into there system. Of course this distribution system is no different then there being tv shows exclusive to a single channel… you can watch all the channels on your TV (potentially), but each channel has to raise its own revenue… The Amazon App will be no different.

    Though i do agree that DC is trying very hard to make sure morons like you do not actually read there books… They don’t want a law-suit when you get killed jumping off a tall building wearing your mums good table cloth.

    Do same darn research before you comment please.

  • Matthew Lane

    How are they alientating people. You haven’t lost anything, in fact you’ve gained something. The creation of the digital framework allows the sales of digital medium to people who may not want or be able to collect physical copies of comics on a regular basis.

    They aren’t taking your comics away from you, they are just supplementing there revenue with a new revene stream.

  • Matthew Lane

    Explain how.

    The Amazon App will be available on every single platform including the PC, the Ipad, any android device… Yet this doesn’t decrease or remove physical copies from shelves, or from people. So how does this piss of the readership… Actually better question, how does this piss of the part of the readership not made up completely by retards terrified of the word “exclusive.”

  • Matthew Lane

    Which of course is bullshit… Don’t believe me; go take a walk into the store & pick up a copy of any Harry Potter novel. Harry Potter novels are exclusive to the Sony E-Reader. Oops B&N, i think we just caught you with your pants down.

  • Matthew Lane

    You will be able to download the Kindle App for any android device, ipad, iphone & PC. Also i’ve heard of this new thing they are doign where they print inks directly on to paper & then bind these “pages” together… These “books” as they are called, will be sold in stores that are not B&N. Its pretty impressive really.

  • http://bookoisseur.tumblr.com Rachael

    Why should B&N allow a competing bookstore’s app into their device? I’ll agree with your argument the moment I can purchase something through B&N on an Amazon ereader. Granted I don’t have one – because I despise Amazon – but from what I understand, you can only purchase things for kindles through the Amazon store. That’s exclusivity.

  • Matthew Lane

    You will be able to purchase things for the nook on the kindle fire, as long as the nook colour has an app.

    “you can only purchase things for kindles through the Amazon store. That’s exclusivity.”

    No. You can purchase an app for any number of products such as comixology, which allows you to purchase other products from a non amazon source to read on the kindle fire. In this way its not exclusive at all.

  • http://bookoisseur.tumblr.com Rachael

    Well that’s the first Kindle that I’ve heard of that lets you purchase from anywhere but amazon and use the purchase on the kindle device. From all I’ve heard from every Kindle user (and they all know I despise the company) you can only view/consume products that are purchased from Amazon on that device.

    Still won’t get me to buy one. I haven’t given Amazon a cent in more than 2 years and I won’t start now.

  • http://bookoisseur.tumblr.com Rachael

    So, do you work for Amazon? Having now read your other comments here, I can’t help but wonder.

  • http://twitter.com/kathy_kitt ksqared

    I worked for B&N and they don’t value brick & mortar as much as you think they do.

  • Matthew Lane

    I take it then, that you haven’t looked at the system specs for the Kindle Fire then (you know the product that this article wrongly says this deal is exclusive to). The Kindle Fire is not an e-reader its a mini-tablet with a focus on entertainment (tv/movie/music/books/newspapers/apps).

    The previous kindles only ran kindle software, because that was all it could manage. The kindle fire, not so much so. You’d be better of considering the kindle fire to be a mini-ipad, then a super kindle.

  • Matthew Lane

    Nope. i just hate when people in my demographic go on like headless chooks, while simultaneously being completely ignorant of the subject on which they are talking about.

    This deal is no more exclusive to amazon then Comixologies is… An no one cared about comixology having an exclusive on DC content because no one used the dreaded “E” word… Even though the two systems work in an exactly identical fashion.

  • http://bookoisseur.tumblr.com Rachael

    I take less issue with a company called comixology just at face value than with a gigantic media/product conglomerate like Amazon when it comes to exclusivity. I’ve been known to seek out specific publishers’ imprints for quality when it comes to books. Same could be said for an electronic resource. Amazon isn’t quality. It’s a warehouse.

    And I take more issue with your insulting tone and usage of idiot & ret**** than anything else. Not in your responses to me, I’ll admit, but in general. Why not point someone towards a resource to get the right info rather than name calling?

  • http://twitter.com/wyatt_e Wψαττ S. Εδδψ

    That was the point I was trying to make. If they don’t have an item available digitally, they don’t want it at all.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ryan.schlenger Ryan Schlenger

    Why would B&N have Amazon’s app?…That would be idiotic.  The Kindle Fire won’t have B&N’s app.  How has it bitten them on the “arse” if B&N has more books available by almost 1.5 million books?  Your points make you sound like a Amazon Fanboy. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/ryan.schlenger Ryan Schlenger

    Same goes for Amazon.  The Kindles are the most proprietary devices on the market.  For the longest time you couldn’t get books from the library on a Kindle, now you can but they make the reader jump through hoops to do it.  You won’t be able to load your own content from your computer…pictures, music, movies, and so on…it will only play Amazon content.  How awesome is that?…not much.  It’s so proprietary driven, it’s sick.  

    As for the Apps…Either company including the other’s App on their devices makes zero business sense.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ryan.schlenger Ryan Schlenger

    Yeah, girls love my DC graphic novel collection!  Riggghhhttt

  • Matthew Lane

    The ones that have seen my giant white phallic long boxes seem to be pretty awed.

  • Matthew Lane

    Ryan i don’t know where you are getting your data from but the kindle fire will be a mini tablet, which you will be able to upload your own data onto. Its already been revelaed that the fire will allow you to upload other files & there is already an app store with thousands of apps.

    Previous Kindles only allowed proprietary software because the previous generations of kindle had the processing power of a solar powered abacus. The Fire does allow proprietary software & data because its not an e-reader, but a mini-tablet with an e-reader function.

  • Matthew Lane

    Actually not having one would be idiotic. Amazon has a giant library of exclusive titles, B&N has a device which can read them. Not having an app for your competition is pointless, which is probably why the nook colour has failed as fast as it has. Its a small minded way of thinking to say we have a device that can read any e-book, but we are going to ban the biggest collection of popular books from our device & only allow a small amount of less popular books.

    If the Nook had an amazon app, sure they’d lose money to Amazon, but thats going to happen anyway as people drop the colour, for the fire, on the basis that the fire just has more books. If the colour did allow amazon app, at least B&N’s could coast for a little while by riding amazons coat tales (hehehehe, tales instead of tails).

    I would be surprised if the Kindle, Fire did not have a B&N app, along with a Sony E-Reader App.

  • Matthew Lane

    Oh just as an FYI, it turns out that its very likely that the Fire will support the B&N app.

    And just as another question, where did you get this number for how many books are in each library? Because such data to my knowledge has never been released.