Apparently some dispute has reached a head between Deseret Book and the bookstore chain primarily local to the Salt Lake City area, Seagull Book. And Deseret Book has announced that it will no longer be selling Deseret Book publications through Seagull Book stores. This has aroused a great deal of speculation in the Bloggernacle about what the real cause of the dispute might be, but there seems to be little hard evidence to answer the questions that are raised.
An interesting email from Keith Hunter, a Vice President of Sales and Development at Deseret Book, was written in answer to an inquiry from one of its authors. And it is posted with permission on the blog, Six LDS Writers and A Frog. Those of you who are interested in following this story may do so on a number of other blogs as well including the group blog, A Motley Vision: Mormon Arts and Culture, and Clevery Blogged.
I personally find it curious that in the various comment thread it is apparently assumed by many that these two giants of Mormon book sales are a closed system fighting over a market that is local to the central Mormon corridor along the Wasatch Front in Utah. I would imagine that a lot of Deseret Books are sold by Amazon.com and other national and international booksellers. Is that also true of Seagull Books? I simply don’t know. But it seems to me that a bookstore selling primarily Church books would have to go out of the business of selling Church books rather than discontinue selling books published by Deseret Books. Does anyone reading this know if that is true?
This story is also being reported in the Salt Lake Tribune.