Author Topic: Deseret Book vs. Seagull Book  (Read 13254 times)

House of Mustard

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Deseret Book vs. Seagull Book
« on: July 10, 2006, 06:06:36 PM »
So, weird news.  Deseret Book (the publisher) sent Seagull a letter indicating that as of August 1st, DB will no longer be selling any of their products (including doctrinal books by General Authorities) to Seagull.

Apparently, Seagull is completely baffled by the move.  Allegedly, their CEO called DB, and was told that they have no further comment than what was in the letter.

One DB author said that DB told her it was done to "protect the Deseret Book brand".

Thoughts?  (My initial reaction was that the DB bosses must be breaking the Word of Wisdom...)
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Spriggan

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Re: Deseret Book vs. Seagull Book
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2006, 06:08:51 PM »
Well, seagull is DB's only competitor so I can easily see why they think they need to do it, but honestly that cuts out a decent percentage of their sales.

Do you know what percent of DB books comes from Seagull?  That would be very interesting to know.
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Firemeboy

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Re: Deseret Book vs. Seagull Book
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2006, 06:34:42 PM »
So is this official?  Becuase I'm thinking I might write a letter to the editor or something.  I'm amazed that DB thinks this is just healthy competition.  This borders on anti-trust.  

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Skar

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Re: Deseret Book vs. Seagull Book
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2006, 06:35:02 PM »
How very strange that DB would cut off a large distributor.  I bet they're hoping to damage Seagull by deceitfully reinforcing the widespread, yet erroneous, belief among mormons that anything you purchase from DB is 'canon'

I bet DB is also hoping that when customers are told that they can no longer purchase works by the general authorities at seagull, those customers fear for their salvation and immediately "get themselves" to DB and buy a few things.
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House of Mustard

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Re: Deseret Book vs. Seagull Book
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2006, 06:36:12 PM »
I don't know percentages, but Covenant publishes relatively little non-fiction doctrinal stuff.  And DB has drastically cut back on their fiction.  Of the 100+ fiction titles in the LDS market last year, I'd guess DB could claim less than twenty.

Covenant has said they will continue to sell to DB.

Here's a funny quote from our very own Matthew Buckley (taken from the comments of a blog,  http://sixldswriters.blogspot.com/2006/07/bad-news-in-lds-book-market.html):

Quote
Oh brother.

Unlike you, Jeffry, I have a hard time finding any respect for Deseret Book. I have seen very little from them other than heavy-handed, monopolistic tactics. It seems to me that there focus is not to provide good products to as many people as possible, rather it is to find the easiest way to turn a buck. They seem to want to be the only true and living bookstore in the LDS world, and are willing to do whatever necessary to obtain this end.

Competition is healthy for the consumer because they always get a good price. Competition is healthy for the producers because they are forced to find better and more efficient ways to produce. The only people competition is not good for are those who want to make a whole lot of money without having to actually do any work.

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Skar

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Re: Deseret Book vs. Seagull Book
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2006, 06:37:09 PM »
Firemeboy, forgive me for being cynical but...

Did you not realize that honest business practices do not apply to organizations affiliated with THE CHURCH.  Such things as apply only to mortal organizations.

Sometime I'll have to tell you about the Signature Card scam at BYU.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2006, 06:40:41 PM by Skar »
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Firemeboy

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Re: Deseret Book vs. Seagull Book
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2006, 06:54:43 PM »
:)

Skar, you are right.  I forget that DB is the one true and living bookstore.  And all other bookstores are an abomination before Sheri Dew.  All you have to do is walk into a DB and smell the bread, and you know that they must be the true bookstore.

This practice isn't a dirty, underhanded tactic.  It's more like proselyting.  They're simply trying to save the poor souls who shop at the bookstore of the devil.

:)

The reason this perturbs me is that if this does affect Seagull, then Covenant will also be affected.  And if Covenant is affected, then my second book will likely never see the light of day.

Of course there is always Bookcraft...  

Oh wait.
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Re: Deseret Book vs. Seagull Book
« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2006, 07:46:26 PM »
Here's my problem with this idiotic idea: Sure, any Utahn who doesn't find what they're looking for in one store can go to another. But what if a customer in Seattle wants a book published by Covenant? The only game in town is the Deseret Book up by the temple. That means that person either has to online/mail order, or they don't get the book, because the products are so dissimilar as to be completely irrelevant. If I want to buy a Robison Wells book, a nonfiction DB title isn't going to do the trick.

This is what happens when publishers and bookstores collide. A bookstore should have a completely different agenda than a publisher, and a publisher shouldn't run a bookstore.
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Re: Deseret Book vs. Seagull Book
« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2006, 09:10:58 AM »
you crazy Utahns.
There are people who buy church books based on brand? Because, out here, I have *never* heard that view espoused. Maybe we're just cut off from the main body of the Church to realize our salvation is in the hands of a publisher. Or maybe we just realize that when the Lord said to gain wisdom out of the best books he didn't mean that those books were only written by members of the Church.

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Re: Deseret Book vs. Seagull Book
« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2006, 09:23:13 AM »
I see this actually cutting down on the potential success of Mormon fiction writers if all they can do is sell through either Deseret Book or Seagull and not take advantage of both.

Unless, mainstream publishers decide they want to start selling explicitely Mormon fiction. Which I don't see happening anytime in the near future.

Course, this could backfire on DB, with fewer authors submitting manuscripts to them since they would have a smaller venue.
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Skar

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Re: Deseret Book vs. Seagull Book
« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2006, 12:12:43 PM »
Quote
Here's my problem with this idiotic idea: Sure, any Utahn who doesn't find what they're looking for in one store can go to another. But what if a customer in Seattle wants a book published by Covenant? The only game in town is the Deseret Book up by the temple. That means that person either has to online/mail order, or they don't get the book, because the products are so dissimilar as to be completely irrelevant. If I want to buy a Robison Wells book, a nonfiction DB title isn't going to do the trick.

This is what happens when publishers and bookstores collide. A bookstore should have a completely different agenda than a publisher, and a publisher shouldn't run a bookstore.

Wait.  Is Deseret planning on not buying from Covenant any more as well as not selling to Seagull?
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Firemeboy

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Re: Deseret Book vs. Seagull Book
« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2006, 12:17:08 PM »
They might say the will, but the hard truth is that they don't push Covenant's books.  The Logan DB bought 12 copies of my Chickens book, and they sold out in 4 weeks (I had nothing better to do than check every four or five days).  They never bought anymore copies.  I asked the clerk, and they said 'they might be getting some in or they could special order it'.  But in the six months I went back and checked, they never ordered any more of my books.

So while they might buy a token number of Covenant books, they certainly don't push them.  I believe my first report form Covenant showed that Seagull had sold about 2500 copies of my book, and DB had sold about 200.  
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House of Mustard

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Re: Deseret Book vs. Seagull Book
« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2006, 12:32:12 PM »
Quote
Wait.  Is Deseret planning on not buying from Covenant any more as well as not selling to Seagull?


From what I hear, Deseret still plans to buy from Covenant, and has orders placed for Covenant's September and October releases.
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Spriggan

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Re: Deseret Book vs. Seagull Book
« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2006, 01:04:57 PM »
Odd thing is, I usually buy things from B&N out here instead of Deseret or Seagull.  
Screw it, I'm buying crayons and paper. I can imagineer my own adventures! Wheeee!

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Skar

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Re: Deseret Book vs. Seagull Book
« Reply #14 on: July 11, 2006, 01:30:19 PM »
Yeah.  The only thing I ever bought from either was Rob's books and David Farland's Mouse book, all from Seagull.
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