Indie Bookstores Win Amazon/Hachette War


The ongoing battle between Amazon and Hachette has been a boon for independent booksellers. Hachette’s refusal to capitulate to Amazon’s demands has meant that big-name books, like J.K. Rowling’s latest mystery The Silkworm (published under the pen name Robert Galbraith), can’t be pre-ordered from the online giant. According to the New York Times, Seattle indie bookseller Third Place Books took the opportunity to offer their own pre-order option for customers with personalized delivery services:

Third Place Books began featuring “The Silkworm” prominently on the home page of its website, offering hardcover copies at a 20 percent discount along with free, in-person delivery the day the book was released, which was Thursday. Mr. Sindelar, along with several other store employees, delivered the books (although a surprising number of customers said not to bother — they wanted to come into the store for their copy). He also handed out what he called “Hachette swag bags” with a T-shirt and advance copy of a coming Hachette novel. Some buyers also received a surprise visit from a local author, Maria Semple, who wrote the best-selling book “Where’d You Go, Bernadette.”

Ian MacAllen is the author of Red Sauce: How Italian Food Became American (Rowman & Littlefield, April 2022). His writing has appeared in Chicago Review of Books, Southern Review of Books, The Offing, 45th Parallel Magazine, Little Fiction, Vol 1. Brooklyn, and elsewhere. He tweets @IanMacAllen and is online at More from this author →