Indigo Joins the Amazon Boycott

Bad news comes in threes, and Amazon certainly learned that this week.

First, B&N announced that they weren’t going to carry the print editions of any of the books published by Amazon, which are currently being distributed by HMH. That by itself was bad news,but it was lessened by B&N’s concession that the books would be available on their website. Then later this week, Books-a-Million confirmed that they were following suit.

And late Friday afternoon Indigo, Canada’s largest bookstore chain, joined the club. They won’t be stocking books published by Amazon either.

“In our view Amazon’s actions are not in the long-term interests of the reading public or the publishing and book retailing industry, globally,” Indigo vice-president Janet Eger said in an e-mail, adding, “Indigo Founder and CEO Heather Reisman has congratulated Barnes & Noble for taking a leadership stance on the matter, and offers kudos.”

The 3 majors, with around a thousand stores between them, are also joined in this by probably about an equal number of indies. (No clue on how many indies, but it’s bound to be high.) So what we have here is a protest that has grown beyond one of the majors fighting with another; this has now become a genuine boycott of Amazon publishing.

I must say that I find this amusing. Amazon wants to be  disruptive force in any industry they enter. But by entering publishing, they have become a unifying force for booksellers. Everyone hates their guts. Angry mobs might not hold together long, but they can do a lot of damage before they split.

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.


  1. karen wester newton4 February, 2012

    Hmm. I wonder if Amazon will try to do an end run around them and be their own distributor?

    1. John Stackhouse5 February, 2012

      Book stores? Book stores? What were they?

  2. Common Sense4 February, 2012

    Just drive readers to Amazon. Great business plan! I’m guessing that if a reader wants an Amazon-published book, they will buy it from Amazon, and while the reader is there, will buy the rest of his books from Amazon. And that benefits the bookstores how?

    Seriously, this sounds like a bunch of toddlers having a collective temper tantrum because one kid has more then they do.

    The chain that partners with Amazon ends up prospering while the rest of them go out of business. I’ve also heard that Amazon may be opening their own bricks & mortar stores which would sell far more than just books.

    If these bookstores want to be competitive, they need to come up with new ideas.

    Everything that Amazon does benefits their customers, mainly a greater selection and lower price, that’s why they win.

    1. CJJ4 February, 2012

      Not to mention the free advertising Amazon gets each time one of their braniac competitors makes the same stupid announcement.

  3. fjtorres4 February, 2012

    All this fuss over a 50-book catalog.
    Methinks they’re trying to convince themselves they still run the show.
    Let’s wait and see if consumers actually care before congratulating them on their PR blitz…

    1. Nate Hoffelder5 February, 2012

      Counting the backlists, I think Amazon’s catalog is closer to 100 titles.

  4. […] Bookseller Association announced that they were joining Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million, and Indigo Books & Music in the general boycott of all books published by Amazon whenever Amazon retains the ebook as an […]


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