Amazon regularly employs strong arm tactics when negotiating better book deals from publishers. This normally occurs when the existing contracts expire and its time to renew it. Amazon is the largest seller of digital and print titles in the world and this gives them tremendous bargaining power. Publishers simply cannot afford to not do business with them and give up heavy concessions. Amazon and Hachette are currently redoing their contract and in order to gain a better deal, Amazon is delaying the shipping of physical titles.
Popular bestseller authors David Baldacci, Malcolm Gladwell and James Patterson print titles are experiencing massive shipping delays. Other affected Hachette titles include Kate Adie’s memoir The Kindness of Strangers, Antony Beevor’s The Second World War and Cressida Cowell’s How To Train Your Dragon. Hachette said that, “for reasons of their own,” Amazon is holding minimal stock and restocking some of its books slowly, causing “available in 2-4 weeks” messages to appear when customers try to order.
Hachette said that it was “grateful for the patience of authors and all Amazon readers as we work to reach an agreement and to encourage Amazon to be back to offering Hachette Book Group’s books within normal shipment times”.
Amazon is well known for their heavy handed negotiating tactics from past cases. The company pulled 5,000 eBook titles from the Independent Publishers Group in 2012. In 2010 they pulled all Macmillan eBook titles over a storm that brewed for over a year. Macmillan wanted Amazon to increase digital prices from $9.99 to $15.99 and needless to say it was easier to pull the titles than set a precedent for expensive titles.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and Verge.