Apple offers discounts on Hachette books that Amazon won’t sell

“Amazon doesn’t want to sell books from Hachette Book Group,” Peter Kafka reports for Re/code.

“More for us, says Apple, which is taking advantage of the fight between the world’s biggest bookstore and one of the world’s biggest publishers,” Kafka reports. “Its iTunes store is promoting a sale on digital versions of popular Hachette titles, including upcoming books from James Patterson and J.K. Rowling.”

“Apple won’t come out and say that, exactly. But if you head to the iTunes book page, you’ll see Apple is highlighting a ‘Popular Pre-Orders: $9.99 or Less’ section,” Kafka reports. “And if you click on the ‘see all’ button, you’ll note that every one of the 26 titles Apple is pushing is scheduled to be published by Hachette, including ‘The Silkworm,’ the new book from ‘Harry Potter’ author Rowling, written under her Robert Galbraith pseudonym.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Smirk.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Dan K.” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
Hachette: Amazon delaying delivery of some books – May 10, 2014
Amazon’s bogus anti-Apple crusade – January 14, 2014
Judge Denise Cote denies Apple request block her friend as ‘antitrust compliance monitor’ – January 13, 2014
Antitrust monitor Bromwich rebuts Apple accusations of ‘unconstitutional’ investigation – December 31, 2013
Apple seeks to freeze its U.S. e-books ‘antitrust monitor’ – December 15, 2013
The persecution of Apple: Is the U.S. government’s ebook investigation out of control? – December 10, 2013
Apple’s Star Chamber: An abusive judge and her prosecutor friend besiege the tech maker – December 5, 2013


  1. Selling books at a discount to artificially increase sales, does the DOJ know about this? Have they cleared this with Bezos, the resident monopolist first?


    1. The point is that J K Rowling is synonymous with Harry Potter.
      Robert Galbraith is becoming synonymous with J K Rowling.
      Can you spot the distance being created in the two genre’s?
      Don’t expect anything written by Robert Galbraith to bear any similarities to the Harry Potter series.
      Therein lies the pseudonym.
      Sometimes, spoon feeding is a necessity!

    2. Don’t forget that “J.K. Rowling” is kind of a pseudonym in that J.K. was not the name she went by and was, originally, designed to hide the fact that she was a female.

    3. Perhaps you should ask Stephen King?

      Sometimes writers want to reposition themselves from the genre in which they made their name. Sometimes (particularly for women writers in the past), a male name had more credibility in some genres (e.g., science fiction). Sometimes (like King), an author is so prolific that the market seems flooded with his/her books. In that situation, a new name might grab some attention, particularly from people who are “tired” of the real author and are looking for something new.

      Anyway, Rowling’s “Robert Galbraith” pseudonym worked for a while.

    4. I know Stephen King used a pseudonym for several books because he contracted publisher wouldn’t keep up with his output. Therefore, to honor his contract, he sold these several books under the ‘Bachman’ pseudonym through a different publishiner. I expect there were other reasons as well.

    5. It’s deliberate: She has weighed the pros and cons and made her choice.
      It’s determined: She’s lined up the agencies, the publishers and the media.
      It’s gotten her to the destination she wanted: A break from the magical genre.

  2. The smartest and most customer friendly business always wins in the end. One can only pretend to be something that they are not. Eventually, the world will see who the real Amazon is. Go Apple!!

  3. And if readers are forced to buy a new iPad to read those books, so be it. And if they shove their Kindles into the far reaches of the back of their closets and never recharge them again, because the iPad will do everything the Kindle did, plus so much more, plus read books from Hachette, dang, sorry about that, Amazon.

    Blood on the Kindle may turn out to be a self-inflicted wound.

    1. Maybe. Or this could just be the push some needed to purchase books in the more open EPUB or PDF formats also readable on the Kindle, iDevices, as well as other electronic display devices…

  4. I’ve always wondered why Apple didn’t do this a lot sooner. They do have a few pennies in the bank, after all.

    Amazon, OTOH, has nothing in the bank. They continue to sell nothing but loss-leaders.

  5. I’m surprised nobody has pointed out that Apple doesn’t set prices. Under the agency model, the publisher sets the retail price and Apple takes a cut. This is Hachette trying to move its customers from Amazon to Apple because Amazon is refusing to agree to Hachette’s terms that would ultimately put it at Amazon’s mercy in both the eBook and print markets.

      1. I guess it’s nice that Hachette is giving this a try. I’m sure the other Publishers are going to watch the outcome closely and see how it affects Hachette’s sales before thinking of doing the same.

  6. Apple did what!!?

    ‘Justice’ is on its way. The demons of Cupertino must be stopped before Amazon is illegally pressured into giving these publishers fair commercial deals they don’t deserve.

      1. That’s not completely true. Apple made a “Popular pre-order page” which coincidentally only features books by Hachette and placed this prominently above the fold. Doing this is good business on Apple’s part. It’s much like putting the sale items near the front door in a physical store.

  7. Hope Apple honors the 9.99 at release time for my New Connelly book – jumped at that deal. (but wouldn’t pay that to Amazon if tables were turned – a man has to have some principles. The whole lawsuit is hogwash cooked up by friends of Bezos and greedy pols for their mountain of cash.)

  8. All the other publishers should follow Hachette’s example. This is how industries take concerted action without “colluding” through meetings. Just watch for market signals and follow the leader; do what is in your own best long-term interests, anyway.

    Re-read: Michael Porter’s “Competitive Advantage”. And maybe also brush up on strategic decision making. (One of my favorites, an oldie but goldie, is “Strategic Thinking” by Avinash Dixit and a co-author. But there are others.) Even literary bosses should know this stuff: they are running businesses, after all.

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