Amazon has The Book of Oberon available for pre-order for $58.50, with the book being scheduled for April of next year.
Also, I’d appreciate suggestions as to companies other than Amazon to whom I can link for books. The whole affair with Hachette has left me with a bad taste in my mouth.
For the most part, I’ve been appreciative of Amazon over the years. Having a single distributor that can consistently stock small and mid-level press titles is a great boon for publishers and authors on specialized topics. There’s certainly negotiation that goes on behind the scenes on the price of particular points, as there is with any other distributor. Nonetheless, if that distributor decides to make some books harder to obtain than others, all other factors being considered, then that distributor has really failed. If your job is to sell people books, and you decide to make it harder to do that, then you’re not doing what you’re supposed to.
There’s a lot from Amazon about how much this benefits authors. Don’t believe them. If Amazon wants to sell books for well below retail, that’s making less money for the authors. Hell, when I wanted an e-book copy of my edition of The Long-Lost Friend to read on Kindle, I had to buy it myself. I’d say that, taking into account the book trade’s standard contracts, the cuts from distributors, the culture of making scanned copies of books free on the Internet, and the various content aggregators that re-market people’s work for their own profit, this may be the period where authors and other content creators are respected less than any other.
Then again, no one’s planning to burn me at the stake, which means I’m ahead of the game.
So, anyone who wants to send me some independent booksellers with excellent shipping to whom I can link when new books come out, I’d appreciate it. Otherwise, I’ll be sending people to publishers’ websites more.
ADDENDUM: I’ve had some objections relating to my Amazon position that I’d like to address. The most common one is that this is simply a negotiation between a distributor and a publisher. This is true. Nonetheless, such negotiations can occur without the largest distributor in the world simply deciding to make vast swaths of information mostly unavailable to the public. That certainly does not serve its customers, and those customers are free to make their decision to shop elsewhere.