Amazon’s battle with Hachette Book Group is starting to heat up

If you’re hoping to pre-order books by J.K. Rowling, Michael Connelly, and other Hachette Book Group authors, you’ll have to go somewhere besides Amazon. An ongoing standoff between Amazon and one of the leading New York publishers has escalated. The online retailer has removed pre-order buttons for such books as Connelly’s “The Burning Room” and Rowling’s “The Silkworm,” a detective story she wrote under the pen name Robert Galbraith. Hachette issued a statement Friday saying it hopes to “find a solution to this difficult situation.” Amazon declined to comment. Inc. is ratcheting up the pressure on one of the country’s largest book publishers, Hachette Book Group, as the two companies battle to reach a new agreement on e-book terms. On Friday, Hachette, which publishes such writers as James Patterson and Michael Connelly, said that Amazon is no longer allowing its customers to preorder upcoming titles. A spokeswoman for Amazon declined to comment. Because preorders play a major role in book sales, the move is likely to hurt Hachette’s sales of new titles, making it harder for the publisher to hit the best-seller lists that influence many book buyers. “Preorders influence the number of copies that Amazon takes in an initial shipment and then strongly influence the sales of a book during the first few days of its appearance,” said Mike Shatzkin, chief executive of the Idea Logical Co., a New York consulting company. “By concentrating the orders of several weeks or months into a single day when the book hits, preorders propel books onto the best seller lists. Publishers want to maximize their sales during the first few days, and preorders at Amazon are a very big part of that.”


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Written by Michio Hasai

Michio Hasai is a social strategist and car guy. Find him on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

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