March 7, 2012

Major indie joins chains in boycott of books pubished by Amazon


The staff at Changing Hands Bookstore

One of the country’s leading independent bookstores has announced it will be joining Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, and Canada’s Chapters Indigo in boycotting books published by

According to a report by Stacie Spring for the local East Valley Tribune, Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe, Arizona, which is owned by former American Booksellers Association president Gayle Shanks and her husband Bob Sommer, announced the decision it Shanks’ just-released monthly newsletter, saying “we believe that our decision is in the best interests of our customers, the publishing industry as a whole, and the next generation of emerging authors.”

The store’s publicity director, Brandon Stout, added, “One company in vast control of literature, all in the name of profit is dangerous.”

Asked about siding with B&N, Shanks said, “I would say that they’re playing by the rules.”

No word from Amazon, though, about a prominent indie joining forces with the chains against it. According to the report, “Repeated phone calls and emails from the Tribune to Amazon went unanswered.”


Dennis Johnson is the founder of MobyLives, and the co-founder and co-publisher of Melville House.