Third Place Books.

Walmart and Barnes & Noble aren’t the only ones capitalizing on Amazon’s contract dispute with the Hachette Book Group — brick-and-mortar retailers are, too.

Seattle-based independent bookstore Third Place Books said today that it will hand-deliver copies of The Silkworm, a new novel by J.K. Rowling (she wrote the book under her pseudonym, Robert Galbraith).

Amazon is currently locked in a stalemate over pricing and profit margins for e-books with Hachette, publisher of The Silkworm. Amazon customers are seeing delays of up to 5 weeks on printed books from Hachette authors, and some titles from Hachette authors, like The Silkworm, aren’t even available for pre-order on the site.

thesilkwormThird Place Books is taking pre-orders for the book, which debuts June 19, and is offering 20 percent off the $28 retail price.

“Third Place Books feels it’s important their customers realize the impact of Amazon pulling buy buttons, and making books unavailable to them has on the bookselling industry,” the company said in a statement. “Third Place Books will be taking this opportunity to emphasize their service and valuable role as a bricks and mortar independent bookstore in the community by taking pre-orders for The Silkworm, offered at 20% off, and delivering them by hand on Thursday, June 19th, Silkworm’s release day.”

Walmart and Barnes & Noble are also offering big discounts on Hachette books. Both are taking pre-orders for The Silkworm at 40 percent off the normal price.

Critics have called out Amazon for unfairly wielding its power over the book business. Amazon, however, has defended its stance, noting that its actions aren’t any different from what other retailers do when negotiating with their suppliers. The Seattle company recommends customers look for a new or used version from one of our third-party sellers or from one of our competitors,” if they want to purchase a Hachette book.

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  • Meh

    Glad someone is sticking up for the little guys, JK Rowling and Time Warner.

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  • Philthy

    I’m glad to see publishers standing up to Amazon, thank goodness Bezos hasn’t put all the other booksellers out of business yet! I pre-ordered The Silkworm on iBooks for $13.99, which is less than the B&N and Third Place offers.

    • DXW

      Amazon didn’t put other bookstores out of business, that was B&N and Borders and the rest of the chains. Amazon is their karma, and B&N deserves to go under, just like the rest, for their predatory actions.

      Amazon is fighting so you don’t have to pay $13.99 for an ebook. Hachette is fighting so you do. They only care about increasing their corporate profit, and they’re trying to do it by overcharging for books and cheating their authors.

      Thank God for Amazon. There is no other company that has the power to break up the monopoly of big publishers.

      • Tiara

        I agree with you. There is no reason that an ebook should cost the same price as a physical copy. That is the one thing I must say I like about Amazon. They help readers in that regard by making ebooks affordable and offering them at reasonable prices.

    • Shellyjj

      $13.99 is a ridiculous amount to pay for an ebook, which I can’t share or re-sell when I am done.

  • DXW

    Meanwhile, a 23 year old girl just sold a One Direction Fan Fiction book to Simon and Schuster for six figures. Thank God we have these publishers to act as caretakers for our literary culture.

  • Caslon Bodoni

    Sure are a lot of Amazon trolls in this discussion.
    Amazon is not a publisher, publishers add value to the process.
    Amazon is nothing but a robotic pimp that ships books.
    Amazon only fights for Amazon, the same as Walmart.
    Bozo is the worst thing to ever happen to books.

    • Kary

      He is the worst thing to happen to books, if you don’t consider an ebook a book.

      • Caslon Bodoni

        I do consider ebooks as books, I don’t see any value added to that either, certainly not from an authors point of view.
        Treating authors and publishers the way Walmart treats Chinese suppliers is not adding to the greater good.

        • Kary

          If they can get more people to read more books and also make more money, that’s a good thing. Sometimes you have to drag companies kicking and screaming to lower prices. It happened with software in the 80s and also the price of movies on VHS back in the day. Both industries discovered lower prices meant higher profits.

          • Caslon Bodoni

            Operative word is IF, it is not happening.

            Thats is like saying cheaper fast food has made us a healthier society, what BS!

          • Kary

            What is it that you think is not happening? You don’t think people are reading more books because of Kindle like devices? You don’t think they’re reading more books because of lower prices? Anything else you care to deny? Climate change maybe?

            And your analogy sucks. It’s nothing at all like fast food. An ebook is exactly the same regardless of whether it costs $8 or $13.

          • Caslon Bodoni

            Ok maybe my analogy sucks, but the reason we have so much fast food in America is because the sole mission of McDonalds and all the rest is to make more food available to more people with your same pricing analogy. Eventually the quality of the food goes down. You are correct that characters on a iPad, or computer or Kindle or Nook is the same. Its the process that gets devalued, just like Walmart making crap in China, lowering prices does not make the quality of the product better, it makes it worse. Great! once the quality is driven out of the market, crap becomes the norm. I can clearly see how Amazon pricing harms the authors, publishers, bookstores and overall quality of the reading experience.
            Amazon adds no value, just another greedy company using strong-arm tactics to control a market.

            Sorry, but I need to go to my bookstore and buy a book.

          • Grant McWilliams

            People read ebooks BECAUSE of the kindle. I don’t know if I like Amazons tactics because they feel a lot like Walmarts but the reality is before the kindle there wasn’t an ebook market.

          • Peg

            Ebooks only make up 20% of the market and it’s stabilized at 20% for a couple years. That’s the problem. Amazon is selling books at cost- they don’t make a penny. They discount them so much so they can get the monopoly and they are close to it. They expected more people to read ebooks but the majority still prefer the physical copy and they cannot continue to lose money. They have never paid a dividend and their stock is falling (25% this year alone). Investors want their cut. As soon as Amazon raises the price of ebooks, they loose the book market, the monopoly they want and control. That’s why they are insisting the publishers take a cut.

          • Grant McWilliams

            Amazon’s stock is higher than it was two years ago and climbing. Be careful which numbers you choose to use prove a point. A year ago the stock peaked at over 400 but that was not normal for them. It’s gone up 10% in two months. I also don’t think your numbers for ebook sales are accurate. You are correct that the majority of books sold are printed still but then the majority of transportation vehicles sold after the car came out were still wagons too. Roughly 27% of all books sold in 2013 were ebooks up from 23% in 2012. That isn’t a huge increase but it’s probably signs of a market maturing as apposed to faltering. My book purchases have doubled since I started to use a kindle, a lot of them I buy with the idea that I’m going to read them later.

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