TV personality Stephen Colbert usually prides himself on unbiased reporting and sticking to the facts (at least the ones that matter to him), but now he’s taken the rare step of putting himself in the middle of the fight between Amazon and publishing biggie Hachette Book Group… mostly because it means his books sales are being affected.
On last night’s show, Colbert said that he generally loves Amazon — “The only place you can get shopping done in your underwear, at least since they closed Circuit City” — but that he’s now “Mad Prime” because the ongoing battle between the e-commerce giant and Hachette means that his books are unavailable or delayed.
“I just found out they are deterring customers from buying books by Stephen Colbert, and as any longtime viewer of this show knows, that’s me,” he explained.
“This is a big blow to my bottom line, because Amazon controls around 50% of all book sales — that’s right: 30 books a year!”
He also described the three-to-four week delays for shipments on many Hachette titles as “cruel.”
“If you ordered Hachette’s 21-Day Weight Loss, by the time it arrives, you’re still fat,” said Colbert.
As for Amazon’s suggestion to readers that they buy used books from the site’s third-party sellers, Colbert point out that this doesn’t do him any good because he gets no royalties from the sale of used books.
“Plus, you don’t want them,” he said. “Used books are the sluts of the literary world. Passed around from person to person, spreading their pages for anyone, getting cheaper and cheaper until eventually they end up in prison.”
Colbert also packed up a special parcel he’s sending to Amazon on behalf of himself, fellow Hachette authors JK Rowling and Malcolm “Explaino The Clown” Gladwell — containing two of his protruding middle fingers.