Saturday, October 3, 2009

A Warning About Price Gouging for the Sower

Patricia Volonakis Davis wrote this note on Facebook and graciously agreed to allow its reprint on this blog.

Compelled by Extreme Irritation to Write this Note

Some of you may not know that Kemble Scott's new novel, "The Sower" was first published on There is an inspiring story behind that, but his ingeniousness went even further when he entered into an agreement with a number of independent bookshops on the west coast to put the book in hardback as a limited edition and sell it exclusively through,, and their independent bookshops alone.

Those who are not familiar with the mechanics of publishing will not recognize the enormity of this event. A best-selling author, who could have any one of the six giant publishing conglomerates eating out of his hand to publish his book, offers it to the public for TWO dollars on (On Scribd one doesn't need an e-reader or a Kindle to download a book, you just need two bucks and an internet connection.) This event created more of a ruckus in the industry than the plot of the book itself. (And let me tell ya- it's SOME plot!)

As for the hardback agreement, by working with independent booksellers, he limited the potentiality for distribution by the big book chains, (which can adversely affect his bottom line) but gave something precious to independents that no other best-selling author has yet to give- a chance for exclusivity of his much-desired product. This boosts sales for a group that has always and continues to support new writers who have not yet 'earned' a presence in large book chains. With these two acts alone, Scott became a hero not only to booksellers, but to unpublished writers everywhere who learned through his actions that there's more than one way to get one's work seen than by landing a book contract with the 'Big Six'.

And how is he repaid? Today I learned that there’s some price gouging happening with his new novel, THE SOWER.

The book was released like an indie film “in select cities.” Only the leading independent bookstores in the SF Bay Area are allowed to sell the first editions. This makes the book more difficult to obtain than a normal national release.

Some retailers in Florida and elsewhere have gotten copies of the book and now selling them for as much as $53 a copy. Scott doesn't see that extra money, but equally important, neither do his CHOSEN booksellers

The plea below is from Kemble Scott himself:

Please, please, please… don’t buy from these people. It’s a scam. First editions can still be bought at these indie bookstores:

A Different Light
A Great Good Place for Books
Bird & Beckett Books & Records
Book Passage
BookShop West Portal
Books Inc.
The Booksmith
City Lights
Kepler’s Books
“M” is for Mystery…and More

And additional copies (not first editions, but still the same book) are for sale on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and IndieBound. There’s even a Kindle version. All of these are being sold at the normal price.


So, there you have it. Any questions, email me at, or to order the book, visit Also, please post this note on your own Facebook page if you are a believer in independent bookshops, and/or simple integrity.


Post script note:

Both Kemble Scott and Patricia Volonakis Davis will be speakers at our upcoming writers conference. Scott will also bring copies of his novel The Sower for sale that day.

No comments: