Barnes & Noble apparently doesn't like competitor Amazon getting an advantage, and DC Comics graphic novels are getting pulled from store shelves as a result.
Barnes & Noble, America's largest bookstore chain, said late Friday it will not stock physical copies in its stores of 100 of DC Comics' graphic novels the company will make exclusively available as ebook on Amazon Kindle, including the company's new Kindle Tablet to be launched Nov. 15.
Barnes & Noble has an ebook platform as well, and popular ebooks readers called the Nook and Nook Color. Upset that DC Comics, a division of Warner Brothers, will make its graphic novels ebooks available exclusively through Amazon led to the bookseller's decision to pull 100 DC Comics graphic novels from its 1,341 stores nationwide.
We will not stock physical books in our stores if we are not offered the available digital format, BN chief merchant Jaime Carey said in a statement. 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.
DC Comics is joining Amazon along with other content publishers in being part of the company's big Amazon Kindle Fire tablet launch. Amazon's Kindle Fire tablet is expected to immediately rival Apple's iPad as a top-selling tablet. The Fire, with a 7-inch touchscreen, is priced at $199. Amazon's aim in selling the product below physical manufacturing costs is to drive users to more content the company sells.
A spokeswoman for DC Entertainment said the graphic novels will be available on any device with Amazon's Kindle app, including the iPad. She said DC is disappointed in the move by Barnes & Noble.
We are disappointed that Barnes & Noble has made the decision to remove these books off their shelves and make them unavailable to their customers, she said in a statement.
But DC isn't backing away from its agreement with Amazon to exclusively distribute its graphic novels ebooks through Kindle. The company will relaunch in September all of its comic titles as digital downloads, including Watchmen and graphic novels of Batman and Superman.
DC's agreement with Amazon will last for four months. Barnes & Noble could add the novels back to its stock once the agreement with Amazon ends, but that isn't yet known. Customers of Barnes & Noble who want DC novels can still order them from Barnes & Noble's online store, bn.com.