You guessed it: the top news in the publishing world is still the dispute between Hachette and Amazon. And since it has gained so much press, Amazon has been forced to respond before any more damage is done to their reputation. Keep in mind that they still have one-third of the market share of the book world, but at least they are now acknowledging that authors, publishers and independent bookstores can have a lot of power if they band together.
Publishers Weekly confirmed that over 300 authors have signed a letter penned to Amazon calling for Amazon to “resolve its dispute with Hachette without hurting authors and without blocking or otherwise delaying the sale of books to its customers.” Author Douglas Preston quickly gained support from David Baldacci, James Patterson and Joseph Finder and was hoping to find just 12 authors willing to sign the petition. Instead the letter went viral and collected over 300 signatures from authors.
Last month, Stephen Colbert challenged viewers to make Edan Lepucki’s debut novel, California, a New York Times bestseller by shopping online at Powell’s Books, an independent bookstore. This step by Colbert has put the book in the center of a retail battle as chains and independent bookstores attempt to turn the book into bestseller. Amazon is even getting in on the excitement by placing the book in the Best Book of the Month selection, even though it is not available for pre-order on their site because of the Hachette dispute.
Amazon has added a Senior Manager of Bookstore Programs to their database of open jobs. The job posting says “Amazon is looking for a candidate to develop programs aimed at serving brick-and-mortar bookstores and the customers we have in common.”