Barnes & Noble and Simon & Schuster have finally reached an agreement after months of squabbling over book pricing and other matters, reports to Publishers Weekly, noting that "the issue was causing a noticeable cutback in the number of [Simon & Schuster] titles the bookseller had on its shelves."
Publishers Weekly first reported in January that Barnes & Noble has reduced its order of Simon & Schuster titles over "perceived lack of support" from the publishing company. In March, a senior executive familiar with the negotiations told The New York Times that Barnes & Noble "wanted to pay less for books and receive more money for giving titles prominent display in its stores." Authors told The Times that Barnes & Noble — which recently lost CEO Bill Lynch — was also refusing to allow author tours in its stores and limiting Simon & Schuster display space.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the two companies also disagreed over who would handle the cost of in-store promotion and e-book discounts.
Part of Barnes & Noble's semi-boycott included ordering hardly any titles from lesser-known authors. M.J. Rose, author of Seduction, told The Journal she was relieved the dispute was settled. "Without any visibility of the books in Barnes & Noble, sales were drastically reduced," Rose told the Journal. "People assumed they weren't out, or they forgot about them." Even book sales for superstar authors like Jodi Picoult were hit, her agent told The Times.
This resolution is especially good news for authors with books coming out this fall — for example, Stephen King, whose The Shining follow-up Doctor Sleep comes out next month, or David Shields and Shane Salerno, who'll drop Salinger, their biography of the author, on September 3.