The Salt Lake Tribune had a really short article on the Deseret Book/Seagull situation on their website today.
There is also a reply e-mail from Deseret Book posted on Six LDS Writers and a Frog.
Several other blogs and forums are buzzing about it too--mostly about what this will mean to Deseret Book and Seagull. Will this decrease DB's sales? Will they pinch Seagull out of the market? Will Seagull pull their books from DB? Will it be a fight to the death or will DB reconsider at some future time?
I say, Who cares? Let's get to the really important question: How will this effect me--uh, I mean, YOU?
Since Deseret Book will still sell Covenant titles, I would expect Covenant authors to continue to sell as you have been.
Deseret Book authors will experience a drop in sales, at least until the consumer realizes that they have to shop at DB to get your books. If you're an author with high consumer loyalty, it shouldn't take long for your sales to come back up. You will, however, lose the impulse sales from Seagull customers.
If you're a DB author without name recognition, it will take longer for your sales to rebound because loyal Seagull customers will not know to come looking for you.
If at some point DB decides to stop selling Covenant books, or if Seagull decides to pull their books, then Covenant authors will experience the same drop in sales as DB authors. However, it might take longer for them to recover simply because of the Deseret Book name recognition which pulls in more customers and therefore more impulse buys.
UNPUBLISHED AUTHORS or LESS WELL-KNOWN AUTHORS SHOPPING A NEW BOOK:
How much this effects you will depend somewhat on public outcry. If the public gets ticked off, they may temporarily stop shopping at either DB or S, or both. That won't last long, but both companies might temporarily lower their acceptance rate or postpone release dates, just until they can see which way the wind is blowing. Or not. Maybe they'll up their publication quota and hit the market even harder with stellar books that people will happily go out of their way to purchase. (That is what I would do.)
But you know, Deseret Book and Covenant aren't the only two publishers in the industry. I'm secretly hoping many of you will be so put off by this that you'll decide you don't want to go with either company and you'll give ME a shot.
But no matter who you submit to, when something rocks the boat even a little bit, it becomes even more important to submit your very best work. So quit reading all these blogs. Pull out your manuscript and get cracking!