It’s no surprise to see Wal-Mart seeking inroads with Hachette Book Group given that the relationship between Amazon and the publisher is strained.
Hachette and Amazon have been unable to work out business challenges in recent months which delayed Amazon’s ability to offer new titles by J.K. Rowling and James Patterson, each published by Hachette.
Amazon has asked customers to prepare to wait two to four weeks for some titles in the James Patterson Alex Cross series. "The Silkworm," by Rowling, is also not available for pre-order on Amazon, while the feud with the publisher continues. Wal-Mart began offering almost 400 Hachette titles for 40% off, with delivery dates within one week. Walmart.com noted this deal prominently on it home page this past week.
The retailer reported Friday (May 30) that its physical book sales rose 70% during the week since the deals were first offered.
Michael Pietsch, CEO of Hachette Book Group, has noted that the dispute with Amazon presents a “challenging period” but the signs from other retailers are encouraging. Barnes and Noble's website is also offering discounts for Hachette books.