David Poops on Goliath

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To contemplate publishing books without partnering with Amazon is to lose a lot of sleep, weight, hair or all of the above. Luckily most of us steer well clear of any action that might provoke the behemoth to put the Big Chill on our Buy buttons.

To deliberately terminate one’s relationship with Amazon is almost inconceivable. Almost but not quite. We have the example of an executive that did it and has lived to tell this David and Goliath tale.

His name is Randall White and he’s the head of a distributor called Educational Development Corporation that also has a publishing imprint of about 1800 titles like Everyone Poops and The Noisy Body Book. Now it is known as The Company that Opted Out of $1.5 Million in Amazon Sales. White simply got tired of Amazon’s practice of buying EDC’s books from a distributor and drastically discounting them. “They were becoming showrooms for Amazon,” he complained to David Streitfeld, reporting his story for the New York Times (Daring to Cut Off Amazon).

White had another reason to be irritated. His books are sold via a network of “independent sales agents,” ladies who market EDC books from their homes and were losing food off their table as a result of Amazon’s tactics. Seizing the “chance to make 7,000 women happy in one day,” he pulled the plug on Amazon, or perhaps Pressed Flush is a better metaphor. Yet he claims his firm is doing better than ever.

When we have more poop on EDC’s war with Amazon we’ll let you know.

Richard Curtis

Richard Curtis

About Richard Curtis

Richard Curtis is a leading New York literary agent (www.curtisagency.com) who foresaw the Digital Book Revolution and launched an e-book publishing company early in 2000. E-Reads (www.ereads.com) is one of the foremost independent e-book publishers in the industry, specializing in reprints of genre fiction by leading authors in their fields. Curtis is also a well-known authors advocate, author of numerous works of fiction and nonfiction including several books about the publishing industry, and prolific blogger – see his hundreds of other blog posts here.

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