A publisher is taking a stand against Internet giant Amazon by supplying independent bookshops with an early edition of a book expected to become a big seller.
Jon Carpenter, of the Wychwood Press, in Charlbury, is publishing a semi-autobiographical novel, called More Tales from Lark Rise, written by Betty Timms, younger sister of Flora Thompson, the author of Lark Rise to Candleford, the fictionalised story of a childhood in late 19th-century Oxfordshire.
He said: “We are making a point of not making it available to Amazon at this stage, specifically so that ordinary high street shops can benefit and not be undercut by a company that can avoid the overheads the rest of us pay.”
Mr Carpenter, who also sells books at Evenlode Books in Charlbury, added: “My main motive in releasing early copies was to give a bit of a boost to other local booksellers like myself, by giving local bookshops a bit of exclusivity.
“Amazon and everyone else (including national chain bookstores) will have the book when the mass-market edition comes out in September. But the locals, who support local publishers and take books about local people and local history very seriously, deserve some support. This is my way of doing that.”
Janie Hextall, of the Woodstock Bookshop, said: “We appreciate anything that people do to help us sell things before Amazon and this is very welcome.
“It’s a charming book and the first chapter is a Jubilee story, so I think it will be popular.”
As the Oxford Mail went to press, Amazon had not responded to a request to comment.
l The book, priced £9.99, is currently available in Blackwell’s, Broad Street, Oxford; the Book House, Summertown; Cole’s Bookstore, Bicester; Church Green Books, Witney; the Woodstock Bookshop and Banbury Tourist Information Centre.