Recent reports about the performance of children’s book publishing have been consistently promising, so the news that Barefoot Books is to close down its UK/European operations comes as a surprise.
from The Bookseller, quoting an inhouse Barefoot Books email sent in the summer :
“Following a tremendous amount of soul searching, and with a great deal of sadness, we have taken the extremely difficult decision to close down Barefoot Books in the UK,” she said. “Our Oxford Studio will remain open until 30th November 2015 and our European Ambassador Programme will continue until 31st August 2015. Beginning in 2016, we will no longer be supplying our UK trade partners. Our North American business will not be affected.”
The news is something of a defeat for the company’s staunch anti-Amazon stand:
Around two years ago the publisher said it would not allow its titles to be sold by Amazon, because “we believe our future success lies in growing our network of independent ambassador distributors—a community where personal connections matter, where we can bring our books to life for families, and where we can stay true to the values that have defined our business since we started running Barefoot from our homes 20 years ago.”
The company’s books now appear to be listed on Amazon. However, Strickland told The Bookseller: “We have not supplied Amazon for the past two years but we cannot prevent them hoovering up our data from Nielsen and ordering from wholesalers. We do not participate in any Amazon promotions.”