Amazon is reportedly embroiled in another battle with a publisher.
Titles by Hachette Book Group, including such bestsellers as James Patterson’s “Alex Cross, Run” and “America Again” by Stephen Colbert, are being listed as requiring between three and five weeks to ship if ordered from Amazon. (As noted by the New York Times, other titles by Patterson that were published by Hachette aren’t delayed.) Hachette says the company is supplying the books to Amazon in a normal timeframe and that there isn’t any reason for such a delay.
Hachette spokesperson Sophie Cottrell told the NYT that Amazon is doing this “for reasons of their own.”
“We are satisfying all Amazon’s orders promptly,” she said.
An Amazon spokesperson declined to comment when contacted by the NYT.
According to Publishers Lunch, Hachette and Amazon are currently involved in "revised terms of sale" agreements. PL says publishers and agents have told them Amazon has proposed "a complete reset of terms, on both print and ebooks" during these discussions
Publishers have accused Amazon of taking their titles off the Amazon site or taking other steps to make it difficult for consumers to buy their books at times when the publishers having been involved in a disagreement with the company. In 2012, as reported by Monitor writer Husna Haq, the "buy" button users would click to purchase a title in the Kindle store vanished briefly from all titles linked to the “big six” publishers, although no other publishers’ titles were affected. That came after publishers Penguin and Random House announced their merger, which, as noted by Haq, “create[d] the world’s largest publisher and provide[d] a more united front against the growing power of retailers like Amazon.”
In 2010, Amazon took “buy” buttons off Macmillan titles on their site after Macmillan established a model in which the publisher would decide the price of an e-book, not Amazon.