In a move of retaliation, Barnes & Noble bookstores are removing DC graphic novels from their available content, including the Superman, V for Vendetta, Batman, and Watchmen titles. The decision came shortly after DC Entertainment cut an explicit deal with Amazon, one that places DC electronic content exclusively on Amazon Kindle products. Furthermore beginning November 15th DC graphic titles will be made available on the Kindle Fire only, the same day the Fire becomes available. With the shutdown of Borders this means that DC comics will not be available at any mass market bookstore, thought customers can still special order these at B&N bookstores or go online to buy them. In a statement B&N chief merchant stated “Regardless of the publisher, we will not stock physical books in our stores if we are not offered the available digital format. 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.”
In response DC Entertainment stated, “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.”
Aside from the statement, DC has made no other response prompted action. Apparently, they believe the Kindle and electronic market to be more lucrative than the physical paperback, probably as a result of their huge electronic relaunch in September to deal with sagging comic book sales. It’s a decision that is either going to make or break the DC relaunch, either way, one thing customers can do to fight back; support your local bookstore!