Barnes and Nobles Pulls DC Trades From Shelves in Response to Kindle Announcement

Last week, I had posted an article about DC making 100 graphic novels into a digital format available exclusively on Kindle Fire. According to, Barnes and Nobles has decided to pull these trades from their shelves!

It’s official. Barnes & Noble book sellers have removed all DC Comics Graphic Novels from their store shelves after learning of the comic company’s exclusive digital deal with the Kindle Fire. DC responds with, “oh yeah, why don’t you go cry about it?” Just kidding, DC hasn’t actually responded to the news yet, but this is an interesting move by the bookseller.

According to Publishers Weekly, “B&N spokesperson Mary Ellen Keating confirmed that B&N will cease selling the 100 graphic novels that DC Comics plans to sell exclusively through the Kindle Fire. ‘We pulled those 100 DC Comics graphic novels that we were not offered in digital format. Our policy is that unless we receive all formats of a title to make available to our customers, we will not sell those physical titles in our stores.'”

Physical copies can still be purchased through the B&N website or special ordered from physical stores. The move comes after DC’s announcement last week that it would offer 100 of its back-catalog of graphic novels, with more to come, on Kindle’s new color ereader only.

Jaime Carey, chief merchant of B&N, told PW, “regardless of the publisher, we will not stock physical books in our stores if we are not offered the available digital format. In recent 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.”

Did B&N attempt their own digital deal with DC? If so, I could understand the sour grapes but if not this just seems like a childish reaction and just an odd business strategy all-around. Aren’t physical book stores going out of business left and right? Wouldn’t you want to carry books that people still want to buy?

HOLY CRAP!!! That is about the most childish gesture I have ever seen in business. This doesn’t seem like a good business decision as much as chopping off their nose to spite their face. I know Barnes and Noble had been pulling back from selling comics, but this seems a little extreme. It would be like Best Buy refusing to carry Batman Arkham City because of the exclusive costumes that Gamestop gets.

I find it hard to believe that DC didn’t try to make a similar deal with Barnes and Noble in the past, but likely found Amazon a much more agreeable business partner. Look, I just bought a new tablet, so I ain’t exactly thrilled with the way this deal worked out either, but this seems childish and bad business strategy. Grow up, B+N.

And a thanks to my friend Jeremy for bringing this story to my attention!

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