The move from print to digital for comics was always expected to come with some growing pains. But when DC Comics this past week announced that they'd move 100 best-selling graphic novels into digital for the first time exclusively on Amazon's Kindle Fire, they may not have anticipated the stir it would cause in America's biggest book store chain.
After rumors of the move that started with The Comics Reporter's Tom Spurgeon, Calvin Reid at Publishers Weekly is the first to nab official confirmation from Barnes & Noble that the book seller is indeed pulling the 100 titles from their in store shelves nationwide. These titles include perennial hits like "Watchmen," "The Sandman" collection of trade paperbacks and Frank Miller's "The Dark Knight Returns."
B&N spokesperson Mary Ellen Keating told the trade that "Our policy is that unless we receive all formats of a title to make available to our customers, we will not sell those physical titles in our stores," adding that readers could still order the print books through BN.com or special order them to brick and mortar stores.
Jaime Carey, chief merchant of Barnes & Noble added, “regardless of the publisher, we will not stock physical books in our stores if we are not offered the available digital format...To sell and promote the physical book in our store showrooms, and not have the eBook available for sale would undermine our promise to Barnes & Noble customers to make available any book, anywhere, anytime.”
Update: The LA Times is now running a story which cites an unnamed DC spokeswoman saying, "We are disappointed that Barnes & Noble has made the decision to remove these books off their shelves and make them unavailable to their customers." The Times indicates that DC will not change their contract with Amazon, which guarantees exclusivity on the Kindle platform (which is also available on readers such as the iPad) for four months starting on November 15.
For more on the story, visit Publishers Weekly and stay tuned to CBR News for more on the dust up as it becomes available.