I GOT A COPY OF THIS FROM STAR PUBLISH. ONE MORE EXAMPLE OF HOW INDEPENDENT BOOKSTORES AND EVEN AUTHORS ARE TREATED BY THE PUBLISHING MACHINE. WE SHOULD DO ALL THAT WE CAN TO SUPPORT THE INDEPENDENT BOOKSTORES AS THEY ARE INDEPENDENT AND SMALL PRESS AUTHOR ALLIES. NEXT TIME YOU ARE ASKED TO PLEDGE-TELL THEM YOU WILL WHEN THEY START SUPPOTING THEIR ECONOMIC BASE-THE LITTLE GUY!
"No one questions the power of National Public Radio (NPR) to sell books, but it’s how it sells them that is generating complaints from booksellers. When NPR released its summer reading list and linked purchases to Amazon, booksellers like Josie Leavitt, co-owner of Flying Pig Bookstore in Shelburne, Ver., had mixed feelings. On the one hand, she advised other members of the New England
Independent Booksellers Association listserv to print out the list, because she had three customers in one day ask about books on it. On the other hand, she said, "I was aghast when I noticed that the Buy This Book link goes right to Amazon.com
and no one else."
"It’s a huge issue," said Susan Novotny, owner of Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza in Albany, N.Y., "because many of us underwrite our local NPR stations. And it isn’t cheap, anywhere from $5,000 to $12,000 a year." Michael Herrmann, owner of Gibson’s Bookstore in Concord, N.H., agreed. He said that because NPR is the best radio platform for his store, he’s spent $20,000 over the last five years. For NPR to funnel book sales to Amazon, he said, "makes us come across looking like chumps while Amazon rakes it in."
Collectively, independent booksellers support NPR to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars annually. On top of that, a number of booksellers provide book selections to their local affiliates and occasionally nationally on NPR. In addition, said NEIBA president Allan Schmid, owner of Books Etc. in Portland and Falmouth, Maine, "we donate gift cards to our local affiliate’s annual auction. We also bring in authors who provide local content for the station."
NPR regards making Amazon the click-through online store as a service for its listeners, and only a minor part of what the station does in the book sphere. V-p for communications Andi Sporkin said the link is not an endorsement of Amazon.
Despite booksellers’ donations of time and dollars, some individual NPR stations are also playing the Amazon connection. "WBUR, one of our Boston NPR stations, announces many times a day that if you’re going to Amazon, ‘start at our home page and help support the news on WBUR,’" since the station is an Amazon affiliate, noted Carole Horne, general manager of Harvard Book Store. "Since we’ve been an underwriter for a number of years, we find it quite frustrating. " For her, it’s also upsetting because NPR listeners are more likely to understand the importance of shopping locally, but messages like WBUR’s give them a reason not to."