Apple is currently featuring a limited-time sale on pre-orders for 26 upcoming e-books, including J.K. Rowling’s “The Silkworm” (her second book written under the pen name Robert Galbraith), four new books from James Patterson and Amanda Palmer’s “The Art of Asking.”
People can pick up those books through the iBookstore for $9.99 each, and get them automatically delivered to their Mac, iPhone or iPad upon release.
The books are united in their discounts, but they’re also all published by Hachette, the publisher that’s currently embroiled in a contract dispute with Amazon. Right now, Amazon isn’t accepting pre-orders for any of Hachette’s upcoming books, and has said publicly that customers who want to purchase any of those titles should look to another storefront.
Apple has taken this opportunity to try and attract Mac, iPhone and iPad users to iBooks.
Unlike a standard sale, though, these pre-orders could lead users to consider Apple’s e-book storefront more seriously, even if they have previously stuck with the Kindle or another platform entirely. Android and PC users are left out in the cold on this particular promotion, though: iBooks only works on Apple devices, unlike Amazon’s more broadly available cross-platform Kindle apps.
It’s unclear if Apple is working with Hachette on the promotion, or if the Cupertino-based tech company is acting alone.
It has been more than a month since Amazon’s dispute with Hachette first came to light, and it doesn’t show any signs of letting up any time soon. A recent survey showed that Amazon’s reputation hasn’t taken much of a hit from the fracas, even though high-profile combatants like Patterson and Steven Colbert have lobbied on Hachette’s side.
Amazon has said that its actions are no different than those taken by any other retailer, and that Hachette books make up a small minority of sales on the site, even before the dispute.
That, more than anything, may allow the Seattle-based retailer to continue to negotiate aggressively, since it’s not taking much of a financial hit from the dispute, and many consumers won’t even feel its effects.