Amazon’s slowdown of their business with Hachette Book Group as the parties battle over terms took another turn Thursday evening, as site visitors noted on social media the disappearance of pre-order buying capability for print and Kindle editions of many forthcoming HBG titles. Among affected titles due for publication in June are JK Rowling’s next Robert Galbraith novel SILKWORM; Michael Koryta’s THOSE WHO WISH ME DEAD; Megan Abbott’s THE FEVER; Elin Hilderbrand’s THE MATCHMAKER, and Tom Rob Smith’s THE FARM, plus Anne Rivers Siddons’ THE GIRLS OF AUGUST (due in early July). The affected books now display as “currently unavailable” and offer to have customers “sign up to be notified when this item becomes available” — as those same titles are readily available for pre-order at other online booksellers.
The move is significant as an overt extension of the current standoff between Amazon and HBG. Slowing down the supply chain of physical books and tweaking of discount policies still left HBG titles available for order, even if the conditions changed; removing pre-order capability, while not the same as a full buy-button removal, is still a direct cessation of one form of sale of HBG books.
I hate Amazon. It’s not noted in this story, but Brad Stone wrote a book about Amazon which Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos didn’t like, so Amazon now categorizes that book under 'Literature and Fiction'.
And I’m not even saying Hachette is right. For all I know, they’re negotiating in bad faith. But the Justice Dept sued Apple for providing an alternative to Amazon, and now Amazon does shit like this.