Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Where to buy 'Cache of Corpses'?
If by any chance you were looking to buy a new hardcover copy of Cache of Corpses, my most recent mystery novel, but couldn't do so at Amazon.com, here's why.
Over the weekend the online bookseller threw a hissy fit when Macmillan, the publishing conglomerate (of whom my publisher, Tor/Forge, is an imprint) refused to truckle to its demands that Macmillan e-books be offered at the price Amazon.com sets -- usually $9.99.
Nothing doing, Macmillan said. It wants the online e-book price to be set at about $15, the same tag at which Apple will offer Macmillan e-books in its iPad bookstore.
That, Macmillan said, is fairer to other online merchants. (At $9.99 Amazon.com loses money on sales of individual books, but makes it up from profits on its captive Kindle e-book reader.)
In revenge Amazon.com, the online merchandise industry's 800-pound gorilla, removed the "Buy" buttons from all Macmillan hardcover and paperback books in its online store. It won't sell them to you, but its third-party members might.
Monday there were reports that Amazon.com had given in to Macmillan's demands, but only a trickle of Macmillan books had reappeared on the retailer's site by Tuesday afternoon. The drama seems to be ongoing.
Until things settle down, you can find Cache of Corpses at Barnes & Noble's Web outlet, or several small Web retailers.
Feb. 3 at 5:14 a.m.: The "Buy" button still has not reappeared next to Cache.
Feb. 3 at 8:45 a.m.: There's a very good assessment at the Guardian of what's going on between Amazon.com and Macmillan.
Feb. 3 at 4:30 p.m.: Cache is still lacking its "Buy" button. Amazon.com is playing hardball. But Rupert Murdoch, owner of the giant HarperCollins Publishing, is hinting that he'll join Macmillan in its quest.
Feb. 4 at 8:50 a.m.: Still no "Buy" button. Amazon.com is being extraordinarily petulant.
Feb. 4 at 3:45 p.m.: Macmillan is now taking out ads saying a current best seller is "available everywhere except Amazon." This is turning into a rock fight.
Feb. 5 at 6:45 p.m.: Amazon.com has turned the lights back on. You can now buy Cache from it.
Feb. 9 at 1:33 a.m.: The Amazon-Macmillan fight may be giving publishers a strong edge in e-book marketing.