DC Comics superheroes in a flap over Amazon Kindle Fire deal

DC Comics superheroes in a flap over Amazon Kindle Fire deal

Summary: Barnes & Noble is unhappy with the exclusive deal between DC Comics and Amazon covering 100 graphic novels. B&N is yanking the books from its shelves and banning them from entering.

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TOPICS: Amazon, Tablets
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Updated: One of the cool details of the Amazon Kindle Fire announcement was the exclusive deal with DC Comics to release 100 graphic novels for the new tablet. These graphic novels consist of superhero stories starring the Watchmen, Dark Knight, and Superman, to name a few.

The exclusivity has set off a fire under Barnes & Noble executives, as the company will not have access to these novels. In a knee-jerk reaction, B&N store have been ordered to pull DC Comics graphic novels off the shelves in retaliation.

This smacks of a very petty move by B&N, especially since you can still order the pulled novels from its online store. It is plainly just making a show of removing the books from its stores. As I said, a petty move. From Bleeding Cool:

An email sent to stores yesterday instructs them to remove all of the 100 graphic novels listed from the shelves, including Watchmen, The Dark Knight Returns, Sandman,  Fables, Blackest Night, All Star Superman, Y The Last Man, V For Vendetta, all strong sellers for the company. You will still be able to order the books on the website, but in bookstores you won’t even be able to special order a copy – unless you request it delievered to your home. Copies will not be allowed to enter Barnes & Noble premises.

Yep, the books are even banned from entering B&N stores. Petty.

Update: Barnes & Noble responded with the following statement:

Barnes & Noble works with thousands of publishers to bring customers the world's largest selection of physical and digital reading content.  However, regardless of the publisher, we will not stock physical books in our stores if we are not offered the available digital format.  In a few isolated 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. Jaime Carey, Chief Merchant, Barnes & Noble

So it's a matter of principle. Although it seems removing physical books from shelves violates B&N's promise to "make available any book".

Update #2: DC Entertainment responded with a statement regarding the pulling of physical books from shelves by Barnes & Noble:

DC Entertainment will be offering digital graphic novels through Amazon’s online store. This news was announced last week at the Amazon press conference unveiling the new color Kindle Fire.

Through this partnership with Amazon, DC Entertainment graphic novels will be downloadable on the new Kindle Fire, as well as other mobile and online devices – such as the iPad – through a Kindle app. DC Entertainment is excited by this business initiative with Amazon and expects fans to be amazed by the robust, intuitive comics reader experience Amazon has created for the Kindle Fire which showcases with extraordinary brilliance and clarity the incredible artwork and graphics DC Entertainment is known for.

Upon hearing news of the our digital distribution plans with Amazon, Barnes & Noble book stores notified DC Entertainment that they will be pulling the physical books of these graphic novels off all their store shelves.

We are disappointed that Barnes & Noble has made the decision to remove these books off their shelves and make them unavailable to their customers.

DC Entertainment will continue to make our content available to our fans and new readers through multiple distribution channels including locally-owned comic book retailers, independent bookstores, other bookstore chains and other widespread means such as online through Amazon and through our apps on iOS and select Android powered devices as well as new and exciting devices going forward.

As one of the largest book publishers in North America, DC Entertainment's publishing strategy is to give our consumers the choice to read our stories in whichever format they prefer but we also know that nothing will ever take away from the joy and collectability of physical books, comics and graphic novels.

Courtney Simmons

SVP Publicity- DC Entertainment

Topics: Amazon, Tablets

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26 comments
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  • Amazon accomplished another

    Great one, ruffled the feathers of B&N pretty good. No reaction would have been the best reaction from B&N. Instead they showed how vulnerable they really are.... Haha!
    tgschmidt
  • No monopoly play here, but it doesn't make sense

    It's not like Barnes and Noble doesn't have the same pull that Amazon does - they're both powerhouses, so how could Amazon get an exclusive deal to these books?
    And why is it so bad that people can only get them from Amazon and no one else?

    Just buy a Kindle Fire!
    William Farrell
    • RE: DC Comics superheroes in a flap over Amazon Kindle Fire deal

      @William Farrell Oh, really? That's quite an arrogant assumption that everyone who thinks this is unfair has $200 available to spend on a new gadget just because you think it's such an easy solution.
      JLBer
      • I thought my sarcasm was obvious

        @JLBer

        I'll work on that.
        William Farrell
      • RE: DC Comics superheroes in a flap over Amazon Kindle Fire deal

        How is it unfair. Get the Kindle app if you have an Ipad. If you don't have a tablet, you can still buy the graphic novel. Nothing was lost here. Just one more avenue for purchase opened up.

        @JLBer
        fonebone77
      • RE: DC Comics superheroes in a flap over Amazon Kindle Fire deal

        @JLBer Except it dfoesn't take $200... Just go on Amazon & order a physical copy of the book. No one is forcing you to purchase the digital copy.

        Nothings been lost here, you've just got more avenues open to purchase the product.
        Matthew Lane
  • RE: DC Comics superheroes in a flap over Amazon Kindle Fire deal

    How is B&N's response petty? It seems like an appropriate response to an anti-competitive deal brokered by Amazon with DC.

    And, exlusive distribution deals are NEVER 'Cool'
    lstrunk2
    • RE: DC Comics superheroes in a flap over Amazon Kindle Fire deal

      @lstrunk2 Except its not exclusive. Its only exclusive to the Amazon E reader APP. Its no different then DC's monthly comics being exclusive to Comixology... Comixology can be installed on almost all tablet devices. The same will be true for the new Kindle Fire app.

      B&N are throwing a shit fit because they personally refused to allow the previous amazon app into there app store & so now Amazon doesn't want to put there app into the Nook Colour store.
      Matthew Lane
  • RE: DC Comics superheroes in a flap over Amazon Kindle Fire deal

    Wait, so B&N responded to the exclusive book deal by...making those books even more exclusive? How does that even make sense?
    Aerowind
    • RE: DC Comics superheroes in a flap over Amazon Kindle Fire deal

      @Aerowind, they are different products. Printed graphic novels at B&N vs. e-book versions of same titles via Amazon. It makes sense because a significant number of DC's graphic novel sales are through B&N. Also, some of those sales at B&N are generated through sales of traditional comics.
      lstrunk2
      • RE: DC Comics superheroes in a flap over Amazon Kindle Fire deal

        @lstrunk2 Yes, I realize that. What I mean is they responded to Amazon by basically saying "Alright, here's our cut of the profits as well." They made a bad situation worse by refusing to sell a product.
        Aerowind
      • RE: DC Comics superheroes in a flap over Amazon Kindle Fire deal

        @lstrunk2 " It makes sense because a significant number of DC's graphic novel sales are through B&N"

        No they aren't. The majority are through Amazon & through inidividual stores.
        Matthew Lane
  • RE: DC Comics superheroes in a flap over Amazon Kindle Fire deal

    The Comics industry is pretty awful, really, in its tactics:

    http://www.wired.com/geekdad/2011/08/the-great-marvel-comics-rip-off/
    dsf3g
    • RE: DC Comics superheroes in a flap over Amazon Kindle Fire deal

      @dsf3g Have to agree it is an awful tactic...but to call it censorship, as the article states? I would have to disagree...Marvel is not forcing them to do it.
      aretaksonic
  • So what happens if ....

    you bring a copy into the store to read, are there employee's checking reading material? and if they find out your reading some comic-book novel will they kick you out? or better yet tell everyone in the store your reading a comic book novel, whats worse?
    this one is rhetorical folks.
    Dougvbx
  • RE: DC Comics superheroes in a flap over Amazon Kindle Fire deal

    Makes me want to get a Kindle Fire, buy a bunch of DC graphic novels, and go sit in the B&N Starbucks to read them all!
    jglopic
  • Are these graphic novels just for the Fire Tablet, or

    will you be able to view them in Kindle Reader for iPad or on other Android tablets?
    baggins_z
  • RE: DC Comics superheroes in a flap over Amazon Kindle Fire deal

    Who cares? Except for Batman, every DC Comics film release is garbage anyway. Not like I'll actually take time out of my day to read a comic book, let alone a DC Comics one. Marvel is where it's at.
    Playdrv4me
  • Cry Babies

    Boo Hoo. Poor B&N. They are now sulking in the basement, and in their childish anger, just removed a source of revenue from their stores - with the holiday season approaching. "Will show them!", the CEO says! Really?
    jpr75_z
  • Sometimes, it's better not to retaliate

    By doing so, B&N looks childish without significantly hurting DC. Those who want the books in question will be able to get them from any comics shop, or order them from Amazon.
    John L. Ries