Amazon apparently wanted better terms from Hachette, the smallest of the five major publishers. But when Hatchette wouldn’t deliver, Amazon decided to raise prices on its books, remove its products from its recommendation features, and increase the shipping wait time on its books.
Amazon has even stopped taking preorders for Hachette books. You can’t reserve a copy of the much-anticipated release of Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling’s new book, The Silkworm (which is under the pen name of Robert Galbraith).
I doubt most people will be bothered enough by Amazon’s actions to seek out a different bookseller. Amazon customers are a loyal breed thanks to the company’s Prime membership program, “free” two-day shipping, and closed digital media platform. (For instance, if you prefer e-books and only ever buy books from the Kindle store, you probably aren’t going to head over to Barnes & Noble’s Nook store just to pick up one or two books. People like having all their stuff under one umbrella.)
The move not only shows what happens when you piss off Amazon but also demonstrates how much power the retail giant has when it comes to online book sales.