At Barefoot Books we believe that small is beautiful. From small, home-based beginnings twenty years ago, we have grown into an international, award-winning independent children’s book publisher. We are committed to cultural and economic diversity; and this is reflected in both our publishing program and in our business model. With this philosophy at the heart of our company, we have decided to end our relationship with Amazon.

As entrepreneurs, we admire Amazon and its ground-breaking accomplishments. However, living Barefoot is about creating a sustainable model which enables individuals to build small-scale businesses; it’s about the vitality of intimate relationships and the power of connection. We believe our future lies in supporting other small businesses and in growing our network of independent Ambassador distributors: – developing a community where personal connections matter, where we can bring our books to life for children, and where we can stay true to our values.

The challenges we have faced doing business with Amazon over the years are similar to those we experienced selling to the big box retail chains. Personal relationships with buyers are rare, particularly when you’re a small publisher. Our books become commodities that tend to only get promoted if they are heavily discounted and Amazon often starts selling them before we have even received our advance copies from the printer. This way of trading often drives small-scale businesses to the wall.

Since announcing this news a few days ago we have seen an outpouring of support not only from our Barefoot Books community, but from other publishers and people around the world!

Barefoot Books Ambassador Barbara Saunders Sims said, ‘I know each of my customers well and have worked hard to create wonderful, lasting relationships with them. This is the way book buying should be’.

‘Thank you for supporting our small businesses! This is one of the many reasons I love the company so much’ Lindsey Walker, Barefoot Books Ambassador via Facebook

‘Added to today’s To-Do List: Place large order of @BarefootBooks for huge window display.’ …@ravenbooks

‘Thank you for your support to your Ambassadors and your principles’! —@thebarefootgigi

‘Hey @BarefootBooks! Thanks for breaking from Amazon. This indie bookseller applauds you. Proud to sell your books’ —@LilGrnBookworm

‘well done @BarefootBooks – standing on your own bare feet’! —@katereavill

@BarefootBooks that was me waving my virtual pompoms in your direction! Hope that others follow suit’ —@VoicesLibrary

‘Thank you @BarefootBooks for stopping sales to Amazon & supporting the local efforts of our Ambassador Team’ —@marketbarefoot

@barefootbooks That’s a brave, inspiring move, and one that’s much appreciated round these parts’! —@chorltonbkshop

‘Well done @BarefootBooks for pinning your flag to the local and independent masts & ceasing to trade with Amazon’ —@ mrbsemporium

‘This feels like a landmark decision in the publishing world and we are so proud of Barefoot Books for stepping up and being a role model. We can’t wait to see more major publishers do the same. Before you buy books from Amazon, make sure you really do your research and understand their model. The The Seattle Times had an eye-opening and profoundly important four-part piece a year or so ago’
Book People, via Facebook

To learn more, please see some recent news items about this decision:

The Guardian
Publisher’s Weekly
International Business Times
Los Angeles Times
The Bookseller


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Join the conversation! Add your comments below.