I own a small publishing company with my partner and we publish books he authors. We just found one of our books for sale by a large online vendor. They claim to have new books shipped and sold by THEM. They allow others to sell new and used merchandise through their site, but they always clearly state who the seller is. They do list the correct author and publisher, but they're Canadian site lists the same book with the correct author and another publisher ("Western Reserve Pr").
First of all, has anyone ever heard of this publisher? I've searched online and only found Case Western Reserve University. They do have a printing center, but I would think the publisher would be listed as Case Western Reserve instead of just Western Reserve.
We have contacted the online vendor and they're not being very cooperative. They claim we can let them know if we "suspect" there is anything wrong, and they will investigate. No matter what the outcome, they will not tell us the results of the investigation or who is supplying them with OUR books.
We are the only supplier of new books, so we can't think of any legal way this could have happened. We do wholesale our books to a few stores in our area, but we do not give the typical 45%+ discount so it wouldn't be worth their while to sell their books to the online vendor who we know requires such a discount. We suspect our printing company or one of its employees could be responsible since they have our files, but we can't find out if the online vendor won't tell us.
How can this be right? The online vendor is pretty much saying they'll protect their supplier over us even though their supplier is likely committing a crime. I fear the only way we can get to the bottom of this and stop it is to pay a ton of money to hire a lawyer and take legal action. We are small and trying to grow, and having to pay that kind of money would likely put us out of business. However, if we can't find out who is doing this and stop it, customers will likely find our book at the big vendor's site and buy from there instead of us. Our only advantage right now is that we can ship out our books more quickly, but the big vendor has a lot more exposure than we do.
I would appreciate any advice on what options we have at this point. Also, if anyone knows who "Western Reserve Pr" is, please let us know. Thanks in advance for taking the time to read this and for any help given.