Amazon has upped the ante in its battle with Hachette over sales terms. After news surfaced earlier this month that the online retailer was slow in fulfilling orders on the publisher's titles—with shipment delays reaching five weeks—Amazon has now removed preorder capabilities on many major forthcoming Hachette titles.
In a statement, Hachette said, "Amazon has now taken preorder capabilities away from Hachette Book Group publications. Forthcoming books now bear a notice 'currently unavailable' and a note inviting customers to ask for an email when it becomes available. There is no preorder button, and some not-yet-published books lack a Kindle page entirely."
Publishers Lunch reported late Thursday that preorder buy buttons for the next J.K Rowling (as Robert Galbraith) novel, The Silkworm, due out June 19, were removed from the title's page. The paperback of Brad Stone's exposé of Amazon, The Everything Store, to be published in October, is also among the affected titles. In fact, all the titles highlighted on Hachette's preview of upcoming titles are currently unavailable for preorder on Amazon.
Hachette closed its statement by saying: "We are doing everything in our power to find a solution to this difficult situation, one that best serves our authors and their work, and that preserves our ability to survive and thrive as a strong and author-centric publishing company."