28.02.12 | Bookseller staffIn an action designed to directly support bricks and mortar booksellers, EDC’s president Randall White said withdrawing the sale of Usborne titles was "critical" to the long-term prosperity of EDC. In 2009 the publisher removed Kane Miller titles from the site.
According to Publishers Weekly, White said the decision to pull 1,500 titles between the Usborne and Kane Miller lines was a stance against Amazon’s attempts to "gain control of publishing and other industries by making it impossible for other retailers to compete effectively".
He added: "I see this as critical to the long-term growth of EDC, and a way to demonstrate our support of the local booksellers, museum shops, gift stores, and others who sell our books to consumers. We also have an incredibly devoted direct sales force of independent sales consultants who make their living selling our books at home parties, to schools and libraries and via the internet. We want to support them in every way we can, and we’ve seen how, working together, not only can we survive without Amazon, but we can thrive."
EDC said sales of Kane Miller titles had increased more than 33% since they were removed from Amazon in 2009, with the company’s total online sales accounting for 13% of its business.
The move by EDC comes following a row between Amazon and the Independent Publishers Group in the US after the former removed all the distributor’s e-books from its site when the IPG would not agree to giving the retailer a higher discount rate when its contract came up for renewal.
The IPG represents over 400 publishers, including in the UK, 4,443 digital titles and the move sparked fears among UK publishers the embargo would spread to print titles.
As the row reaches its eighth day, Independent Book Publishers Association issued a statement from president Florrie Binford Kichler saying: "We commend IPG for its support of the independent publishing community and for shining the spotlight on this critical issue."