Hachette claims that Amazon is delaying delivery of some of its most popular print titles from its biggest authors, according to a story in the New York Times:
The Internet retailer, which controls more than a third of the book trade in the United States, is marking many books published by Hachette Book Group as not available for at least two or three weeks.
A Hachette spokeswoman said on Thursday that the publisher was striving to keep Amazon supplied but that the Internet giant was delaying shipments “for reasons of their own.”
A quick search of Amazon confirms that some of the authors and titles mentioned in the New York Times article are not listed by Amazon as “In Stock” and therefore may take longer to arrive at customers’ doors.
Neither Hachette nor Amazon has yet returned request for comment. Whatever may or may not be going on with Hachette’s titles on Amazon, it doesn’t seem to be isn’t affecting ebooks, according to a Hachette spokesperson, who confirmed that “stock issues are affecting print books only.” The spokesperson would not comment on Hachette’s negotiation with Amazon or the effect of Amazon’s move on book sales.
According to the New York Times article and Brad Stone’s The Everything Store book, Amazon uses aggressive tactics to force trading partners into tough negotiating positions to squeeze out more favorable deals. In 2010, Amazon removed buy buttons from Macmillan’s Kindle books. After a tense few days and customer complaints, the buy buttons were returned and Amazon and Macmillan struck a deal.