'Distress, Disruption' and a Quick Decision
"We first became aware of the publishing deal with [Louisville police officer Jonathan] Mattingly through news reports, social media posts and press queries, beginning around 12 p.m. [Thursday]. We had no prior knowledge of the book and had not been informed by our distribution partner that it was in the works. By last night we had decided that we could not distribute this book, and after informing Post Hill Press we issued an announcement.
"Although all of us involved in this decision shared an immediate and strong consensus about not wanting any role whatsoever in the distribution of this particular book, we are mindful of the unsustainable precedent of rendering our judgment on the thousands of titles from independent publishers whose books we distribute to our accounts, but whose acquisitions we do not control.
"You have our commitment to always be open to the exchange of opinions and points of view with our employees and authors. At times, that commitment will be in conflict with the editorial choices of our distribution partners, which we must also respect. As a publisher, we seek a broad range of views for our lists. As a distributor, we have a limited and more detached role. The distinction between publishing and distribution is frequently lost on people who do not follow the publishing business closely, but it is a reality of this important part of our overall business portfolio.
"I understand and am sorry that yesterday's events have caused distress and disruption for you. It has been a tumultuous year, marked by tragedy and injustice. We are grateful that throughout this time you have so openly and courageously shared with us your views and opinions and experiences. We will continue to seek your help and understanding as we strive to move forward as company."