Robot 6

Quote of the Day | Neil Gaiman on Barnes & Noble vs. Kindle

I’m biased: 12 percent of the titles that they’ve physically removed were written by me. From my perspective, it’s a ridiculous overreaction [by Barnes & Noble]. The idea that these people [Amazon] have a digital exclusive, therefore [B&N] will give them a physical exclusive, too — I’m not sure it’s a sane business practice.

If you force publishers to decide between the Amazon tablet and the Barnes & Noble Nook, some of them may come down on the Amazon side.

Creator Neil Gaiman on Barnes & Noble’s removal of DC’s graphic novels from its shelves after Amazon announced DC’s graphic novels would be exclusive on the Kindle Fire e-reader for a limited time. Gaiman’s comment is a reminder that this action affects real people—and carries a certain amount of risk for both creators and publishers.

Noted in passing: I was in my local Barnes & Noble over the weekend, and while the graphic novel section has shrunk way down (to a single six-bay bookcase), there were plenty of DC graphic novels on the shelf.

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Comments

10 Comments

I work for B&N, and I approve this message.

Er, seems to me that Amazon’s the one making them choose between the Kindle and the Nook.

I still don’t see Barnes & Noble pulling Harry Potter from the shelves. So, it’s a selective business principle?

I saw in some of the coverage on this issue that B&N claims the Potter situtation is somehow “different” and they would continue stocking the books.

Barns and noble are bullies the reason the prices on down loaded book is so expensive is that when amazon was selling the ma a decent price barns a noble talked a bunch book publishers in not selling selling to amazon unless the prices were raised

In regards to the Potter books the novels are going to be available to be on the nooks through Google’s eBook store unlike the amazon books which cant be put on the nook.

Neil Gaiman was also an early endorser/spokesman of the Kindle, with his testimonial video posted on Amazon and all, so he was also biased in that way. I’m not saying I even disagree with his comments…merely that making any comment on the topic without disclosing a prior close relationship with one side of the dispute is the sort of thing that used to raise eyebrows. But I guess no one worries about that sort of thing anymore?

Physical editions of all the books pulled from the shelves are available to be ordered, shipped to home or for in store pick-up at Barnes & Noble.

Phillip,
Sorry but you have that wrong, the publishing companies and Steve Jobs was who did that. There is even a lawsuit on that .

Do you mean a single bay of six shelves? Does that include manga? Because then that’s pretty small and worrisome.

As for the pricing, Amazon was selling e-books cheap to subsidize purchase of the Kindle.
This devalued the paper copies and affected sales. Why pay $30 for a hardcover if there’s a cheap edition available? If the e-book is so cheap, then the publishers must be gouging the customer with the paper copies!

Why pay $20 for a paper copy of Watchmen when the e-book costs $9.99? (And just like comics, some will complain that it’s not cheaper still…it’s just a digital file, right?)

B&N hasn’t punished anyone for jailbreaking the Nook. (The Nook Color makes it even easier, you can boot from the memory card without altering the installed Nook OS.) Amazon seems to be making a walled “garden of pure ideology”[1] similar to Apple’s, with the Kindle Fire designed to drive customers to the Amazon store for media purchases. Will Amazon punish people for rooting the Kindle Fire, the first Kindle to use Android? If someone in the UK purchases “The Black Dossier” as an e-book, will Amazon delete it like they did “1984″? Or what of that copy of “Amethyst” you scanned and sideloaded for your niece?

And speaking of Android, which version is the Kindle Fire using?

(Full disclosure: I work for B&N, but do not own either a Kindle or a Nook. I just want as many graphic novels available as e-books (not apps) so everyone can read them, anywhere and on any device, with no restrictions.)

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1984_(advertisement)#Plot

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