Cult author Dave Eggers bans Amazon from selling the first part of his new novel about the dangers of big technology.
“I don’t like bullies”, author “Heartbreaking Genius’s Work” told the New York Times.
“Amazon has been kicking independent bookstores in the sand for decades,” he said of the company he declined to name in his new book, referring instead to the company Jeff founded. Bezos like “the jungle”.
The hardcover version of his new novel, “The Every” – a tech satire following on from his 2013 Silicon Valley novel “The Circle” – will instead only be sold in independent bookstores and online on his publishing house, McSweeney’s, when it releases Tuesday.
As an added bonus to attracting readers to stores, it will feature at least 32 different covers randomly distributed.
“One of the themes of the book is the power of the monopolies to dictate our choices, so it seemed like a good opportunity to push back a bit of the monopoly, Amazon, which currently rules the book world,” Eggers told The Times.
“So we started to look at the extent to which it would be possible to make the hardcover available only in independent bookstores. It turns out it’s very, very hard, ”he admitted.
He told the Los Angeles Times in a separate interview, warehouse staff were to “inspect every outgoing box to make sure it didn’t somehow go to Amazon.”
“Each distributor has a relationship with them, so if they distribute a book, it has to be distributed through Amazon,” he also said. says Vanity Fair.
“They have the opposite of an exclusive, I guess, which is that nothing will come out without their participation.”
In addition to fighting Amazon’s control over book sales, Eggers said he wanted to “get a few people to look around the corner and see that there’s a little store there that could benefit from a purchase or two “.
“Without them we wouldn’t exist,” he told Vanity Fair, recalling his early days carrying McSweeney magazine on the subway and going to “any community bookstore in Brooklyn. or St. Mark’s bookstore in downtown Manhattan, or Shakespeare & Company, and just say, Hey, you want that? And they’d say, sure, and that was it.
“It was this incredibly human process,” he recalls.
“It’s a small gesture, but more than anything, it’s a way to partner with the bookstores that made McSweeney’s possible,” he said of his block on Amazon.
Yet despite his best efforts, “The Every” will eventually hit Amazon’s online store when it releases in paperback and ebook next month, without the exclusive hardback covers.
Not that Eggers is likely to see it often: he still uses a dated flip phone, only recently got Wi-Fi, and writes on a nearly 20-year-old laptop that “has never been connected to. Internet, ”he told LA. Times.
McSweeney editor Amanda Uhle conceded to The New York Times that the initial ban “isn’t going to break the whole system.”
“We’re not trying to do that. But if we opened a door for someone to come out and walk into the store around the corner and find out what’s there, that’s a victory, ”Uhle said.