Statement from InterVarsity Press on Counterfeiting (Updated 7/11/19)
Update July 11, 2019:
In a meeting with an Amazon representative on Wednesday, July 10, Amazon confirmed that some counterfeit copies were shipped directly from Amazon. This was the result of a now-discontinued co-mingling program that Amazon used for some of its books. Fake editions were inadvertently mixed in with our good inventory. Upon discovering this, Amazon “quarantined” and then destroyed those counterfeit copies.
In that same meeting, the Amazon representative promised to provide a full refund to any customer who bought a counterfeit copy, no matter how long ago they were purchased. This includes fakes from re-sellers as well as those that were inadvertently mixed in with Amazon’s good inventory.
You may have seen the recent article in Christianity Today describing two of our books, Liturgy of the Ordinary and Delighting in the Trinity, which have been sold in counterfeit editions by re-sellers on Amazon.
As the article stated, in response to InterVarsity Press’s proactively filing a formal complaint through Amazon’s standard protocols and after Christianity Today had made contact with its media relations team, Amazon removed the re-sellers of the counterfeit editions from its store. We are grateful for Amazon’s response to our complaint and its expressed openness to hear directly from us if we encounter counterfeit editions in the future. We consider Amazon a valued trade partner and recognize the extraordinary place it occupies in the global supply chain for books.
We have recently invested in a new service which allows us to more closely monitor our data distribution and to routinely pull a report of who is controlling the Amazon buy button on each of our books. It’s important to note that third-party sellers on Amazon distributing our books is not always a sign of counterfeiting, but it is one key way that we can monitor such activity.
Unfortunately, we do believe that there are other authors and publishers who will find themselves in a similar situation. It is our hope that by exposing what has happened with Liturgy of the Ordinary we will raise awareness of counterfeiting among publishers and readers alike. You may also want to read the New York Times article on this topic, which clearly indicated the issue of counterfeit editions is not unique to InterVarsity Press.
Additionally, you can view images of a counterfeit and authentic edition of one of the affected books at this Dropbox link.
If you have questions or concerns on this topic, you can email AuthenticEditions@ivpress.com, and a staff member will respond.