October 4 – October 11, 2007 Edition

PMA Urges Boycott
Of Online Booksellers
Selling Galleys and ARCs

MANHATTAN BEACH, CA/10/2/07–The Publishers Marketing Association this week approved a resolution calling on all of its members to boycott online booksellers who sell uncorrected proofs, galleys, and advanced reading copies of books. Board member Steve Carlson of Upper Access has been quoted in the media as saying that although online retailers may have the legal right to offer galleys and Arcs, the PMA has now gone on record as opposing such practices. He said he hopes Internet booksellers seeking to help independent presses will recognize the seriousness of the issue.

There is more at stake than money, the PMA says. The organization is concerned that books sold in the marketplace that are unfinished may hurt publishers’ and authors’ reputations, since they often contain typographical and factual errors. Carlson said that customers who buy the defective books might feel cheated.

To further discourage the practice, the PMA has canceled a promotional program with AbeBooks, which offered a discount to PMA members. AbeBooks is among several booksellers including Alibris that sell unfinished books along with used ones., which also offers used books, does not allow galleys to be sold on their site.

A spokesperson for AbeBooks said the company doesn’t tell its booksellers what they should sell, as long as they have the legal right to do so. The spokesperson said that AbeBooks will investigate any claims by a publisher who questions a bookseller’s right to sell a title.

AbeBooks is the world’s largest online marketplace for new, used, rare, or out-of-print books offering 100 million books from from 13,500 independent booksellers. The list of titles includes some 200,000 ARC’s and galleys.