Book dealers and retail stores seem to be happy to fill the void for consumers’ favorite Hachette published authors, such as J.K. Rowling, and with some pretty steep discounts, CNN reports.
Last week, Amazon released a statement about the issue with Hachette suggesting that consumers who are inconvenienced and need the books quickly could simply shop elsewhere.
If you do need one of the affected titles quickly, we regret the inconvenience and encourage you to purchase a new or used version from one of our third-party sellers or from one of our competitors.
And those competitors quickly jumped at the opportunity by slashing the price of Hachette published books.
Walmart recently began advertising up to 40% off of nearly 400 Hachette books and promises consumers delivery of currently available titles as soon as this week. Barnes and Noble’s website is also offering up to 40% off certain Hachette books.
The feud between Amazon and Hachette began in mid-May when the online retailer escalated its e-book pricing dispute with the publisher by pulling pre-order options from titles such as Rowling’s new novel, Silkworm, and the upcoming The Girls of August by Anne Rivers Siddons.
As of Monday morning, preorders are currently unavailable for Rowling’s new book in hardcover, while Siddons’ book is unavailable in both hardcover and paperback format.
Amazon has also increased the time in which currently available book will ship. Some of James Patterson’s popular series books will ship in two to four weeks, CNN reports.
This isn’t Amazon’s first attempt to strong-arm publishers. In 2010, the retailer briefly removed the “buy” button from Macmillian published books. That same year, the e-tailer lowered the prices on Penguin hardcovers to $9.99 when the publisher refused to budge on e-book pricing.
E-book pricing has been a contentious issue for years. Initially, sellers like Amazon and Barnes & Noble were generally able to determine the retail prices charged for titles. Then, after Apple got into the e-book business, many publishers switched to the so-called agency model, where the publisher sets the price with the seller getting a fixed percentage of the sale price.
This model resulted in higher prices for e-books and ultimately led to lawsuits against Apple and several publishers, including Hachette, Macmillan and Penguin. The publishers settled these claims, refunding some $166 million to consumers in 32 states.