Message to IBPA Members Regarding Barnes and Noble’s Commitment to Independent Publishers

February 14, 2011

by Florrie Binford Kichler, IBPA president

Recently, we sent IBPA members a message expressing IBPA’s concern that the Barnes and Noble reduction in regional buyers might result in fewer opportunities for small and independent publisher titles to obtain online and offline ‘shelf space’ with the book retailer. We have since spoken with Joe Gonnella, Vice President of Adult Trade, by phone and communicated those same concerns to him. He assured us of the company’s continued commitment to independent publishers and asked us to assure our members of the same by communicating the following statement that includes specific contact information for  title submission directly to Barnes and Noble. In addition, I will be talking with Mr. Gonnella monthly for at least the next few months to discuss any additional concerns and explore how Barnes and Noble and IBPA members can continue working together for the benefit of both.
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Response to IBPA from Joe Gonnella at Barnes and Noble:

Over the years, Barnes & Noble’s commitment to small, university and regional presses has been unwavering. Created in 1993, our small press department handles over 6,500 submissions a year, providing support and guidance to authors and publishers alike.
Through our network of retail stores and online at www.bn.com , books from over 50,000 small, regional and university presses are represented. It is the backbone of our business.
Recently there have been erroneous reports that organizational changes within Barnes & Noble’s buying group might impact the Company’s continued commitment to small presses. Nothing could be further from the truth.
To ensure the continued representation of your titles, please direct new title buy sheets or promotional information to the following individuals:
Eric Burger
Vendor Manager
(212) 633-3357
eburger@bn.com
Diane Simowski
Small Press Dept.
(212) 633-3549
dsimowski@bn.com
If you have any question, comments or concerns on how to work with Barnes & Noble, feel free to contact Eric, Diane or myself. We look forward to our continued partnership with you. We have always believed that one of the great strengths of the book business is its diversity as an ecosystem. The small and independent publishers are the facilitators of that diversity and will continue to be supported by our buyers and booksellers as they have been in the past.
Sincerely,
Joseph Gonnella
Vice President, Adult Trade, Barnes and Noble
jgonnella@bn.com
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We will continue the dialogue with Barnes and Noble on behalf of our members and thank you for your continued confidence.

3 responses to “Message to IBPA Members Regarding Barnes and Noble’s Commitment to Independent Publishers”

  1. David Ash says:

    “Through our network of retail stores and online at http://www.bn.com, books from over 50,000 small, regional and university presses are represented.” The key word in the statement is the first AND. Eliminate bn.com from the equation, and the presence of independent presses is remarkably smaller. I am one of the many small presses that has books with B&N online, but has not been approved for the shelves. For that, one must be approved nationwide, and that means submitting a national advertising plan. There is no “Local Authors” shelf at B&N. Having been asked by New York not to even be part of local fundraisers at B&N stores until I am approved, it may be awhile before I am large enough to attract their attention.

  2. Tom Angers says:

    Does anyone know if Lee Stern is still there. Is he still buying small press titles and if so what categories.

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