April 10, 2012

Regional bookseller associations join fight against DOJ support of Amazon


Days after the Authors Guild and the American Booksellers Association (ABA) announced their support for the agency pricing model devised by five of the Big Six publishers and Apple — a development which has brought on the threat of a lawsuit from the Department of Justice (DOJ) (see yesterday’s MobyLives report) — still more bookseller groups have announced that they, too, are siding with the publishers on agency.

According to a Publishers Weekly report by Judith Rosen, “regional associations are moving to put pressure on the DOJ through their congressional leaders to keep the agency model in place in order to ensure a more diverse marketplace.”

Rosen reports the effort was spearheaded by Hut Landon, director of the Northern California Independent Booksellers Association, who wrote a letter for use by the individual associations. The letter begins, “I am very concerned that the Department of Justice’s investigation into supposed price fixing with regard to e-books is ignoring the real story and the actual ramifications of a decision in favor of Amazon.com.” Rosen says the letter — not yet availabe in full online — also urges individual booksellers to write to the DOJ.

The “regional associations” cited by Rosen include

We’d be interested in hearing — any indie booksellers out there planning their own letter?

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