Inside the Australian and New Zealand book industry

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Affirm to start supplying titles to Book Depository, Amazon

Affirm Press has announced it will start selling its print books through the Book Depository and Amazon, after previously refusing to supply the online retailers in a bid to support local booksellers.

In a blog post on the Affirm Press site, publisher Martin Hughes writes that ‘it’s been an enormous pain not supplying Amazon and Book Depository, and there were even additional costs for excluding ourselves from their feed’. ‘But the real hassle has been in the service we’ve been able—or unable—to provide our authors, many of whom have extensive networks of friends, family and professional associates overseas,’ writes Hughes. ‘Naturally, those networks always want to get hold of their friend’s book, but how and where?’

Hughes said the cost to post books from the office was ‘a killer’. ‘With more and more international interest for more and more of our titles—not a week goes by without a request from overseas—we’ve finally had to admit that there IS something we can do,’ said Hughes.

In 2013, Affirm sales and marketing manager Keiran Rogers outlined the company’s rationale for refusing to supply print books to the Book Depository and Amazon, stating that while this meant the publisher had no UK or US distribution, it was ‘happy with that as we are about great Australian stories and we see our local market as key’.

In explaining the change in his decision to Books+Publishing late last year, Hughes said ‘frustratingly, as we have grown, this stance has become unserviceable’. ‘We remain committed to supporting local booksellers in any way we can, without impinging on our own growth or the success of our authors,’ said Hughes.

Hughes said he ‘consulted a few activists among the indie retailers about our change of policy and they understood our reasons for the change’. ‘But we got some positive press when we announced this strategy a couple of years ago, so if you consider this an unreasonable backflip, feel free to let us know,’ said Hughes.


Category: Local news