We at Booksmith would like to take a moment to address the current controversy surrounding a certain memoir recently acquired by Simon & Schuster.
There have been several responses to the news. The Chicago Review of Books has stated that they will not cover any Simon & Schuster titles in 2017. Others have said they'll refuse to buy any books from Simon & Schuster going forward. Still others have been flooding S&S inboxes and voice mailboxes with their concern over the acquisition.
While we at Booksmith value free speech and democratizing information at our bookstores, we also believe that this author crosses a line by promoting hate speech & bullying (here is a good article detailing why his isn’t just another conservative voice) and feel compelled to take action. We want to send a message; we also believe that our family of S&S writers should not be harmed by a boycott. So, over the past week, we've discussed with our staff and community the pros and cons of various responses at length, and we're proud to announce our decision.
Booksmith is committed to the following, effective immediately:
- We will not be stocking or special ordering Dangerous or anything else from Threshold Editions. No royalty revenue will come from Booksmith.
- Booksmith will reduce our orders with Threshold’s parent company Simon & Schuster by 50% in order to communicate pressure to the corporation as a whole. While we respect Simon’s decision to publish any book, we reserve the right to allocate our discretionary inventory dollars with publishers who act with ethical & moral standards consistent with our own.
- While we are not enacting a sweeping boycott of all S&S titles, for the foreseeable future, 40% of all S&S sales (which is to say all of our profit) will be turned right around and donated to the ACLU.
Christin, Amy, Camden, Lauren, and the rest of the Booksmith staff
ETA: Read more at Bookselling this Week, and thanks to the ABA for inviting us to expand.