June 17, 2014
Last month, we told you how Amazon was refusing to accept preorders on many of the most popular upcoming titles from Hachette Book Group. At issue is an ongoing contract dispute between the two companies. Apple is now trying to take advantage of the situation. For a limited time, the iBookstore is offering many of the same book titles for preorder at a discount. The store’s “Popular Pre-Orders: $9.95 or Less” section includes upcoming titles from major authors like James Patterson, Michael Connelly, and J.K. Rowling. As Re/Code was the first to point out, all 26 titles Apple is pushing in this section are scheduled to be published by Hachette. This includes “The Silkworm,” the new book from “Harry Potter” author Rowling, written under her Robert Galbraith pseudonym. Interestingly enough, the main sticking point between Amazon and Hachette is over the pricing of digital books. Amazon wants to push prices down, while Hachette does not. Apple's move comes after it reached an out-of-court settlement with U.S. states and consumers in the company’s e-book price fixing lawsuit, thereby avoiding a trial that could have resulted in as much as $840 million in damages.