The hardcover version of Dave Eggers's new novel The Every, a follow-up to his 2013 bestseller The Circle, will be available only from independent bookstores, the New York Times reported.
McSweeney's will publish that version on October 5, with 32 different covers randomly distributed. While Vintage will publish the e-book and paperback versions of The Every just six weeks later, the hardcover will remain available only through indie bookstores and McSweeney's website.
"I don't like bullies," Eggers told the Times. "Amazon has been kicking sand in the face of independent bookstores for decades now."
The book, about the world's largest e-commerce website merging with the world's largest social media company and search engine, explores the power that monopolies have to dictate consumers' choices. The publication of The Every, Eggers continued, "seemed a good opportunity to push back a bit against the monopoly, Amazon, that currently rules the book world."
"Releasing this book via the largest monopoly out there--which has unquestionably forever changed both bookselling and even local retail--seemed strange," said Amanda Uhle, publisher of McSweeney's. Since late 2020, she, Eggers and the McSweeney's team have been discussing ways they could release the book in a way that "recognizes the questions it asks and feels like an authentic expression of how we always strive to do business at McSweeney's with integrity, with high standards, and at least one small element of adventure."
Finding a way to work around Amazon, Uhle added, proved difficult. Even though the idea sounded simple--celebrating and amplifying the work of independent bookstores--it was made "infinitely more challenging when that means trying to circumvent the world's largest e-commerce retailer at the same time."
She noted that it's never been about Amazon or trying to overthrow any system so much as it's been about inviting people to visit their local bookstore and to consider their buying choices. "Post-Covid, it seems like the perfect time to initiate those conversations and the perfect time to pop into a local shop and see what's on the shelves."