The Amazon – Macmillan snarl couldn’t have happened at a worse time for David B. Coe, a fantasy author of long standing with Tor, a Macmillan imprint. Coe has two books coming out this month. The final installment of his Blood of the Southlands trilogy will be published in hardcover in a couple of weeks, and the second book, The Horsemen’s Gambit, is being issued in paperback today, February 2, 2010. The trouble is, even if you’re a loyal fan of Coe and a regular customer of Amazon.com, you can’t buy the book from Amazon as of this moment (1:57 a.m. EST).
The B2B dogfight became public last Friday, when Amazon stopped selling almost all Macmillan titles in order to demonstrate its displeasure with Macmillan’s efforts to alter the terms under which Amazon presently sells the publisher’s ebooks. There’s been plenty of debate over which company is the tail and which is the dog and who’s standing on the Left Coast taking bets. Folks, book publishing doesn’t often get this rowdy. And frankly, the folks in publishing don’t do rowdy with much panache.
Meanwhile in Tennessee, an author waits impatiently for the clash to end. Coe is a blogger I’ve followed ever since I tiptoed onto the Web, because he was one of the first to leave a comment or two on my site. He always posts thoughtfully, he’s endlessly gracious about answering questions, and he’s a genuinely nice guy. On top of that, people like his books. Messing on his launch is just wrong.
So, if you have a moment, wander over to Coe’s blog, An Exchange of Words, and exchange a few words of support. Check out the free sample chapters on his website. Remember that his new paperback is available through the Tor.com Store, Books-A-Million, Barnes & Noble, The Book Depository, and Borders. If you’re a bookseller and you’re stocking it and I didn’t list your store, feel free to post a link in my comments section, as long as it’s not an affiliate link (prohibited by WordPress.com).
I’ll provide an update here when I’m aware that Coe’s books have become available to purchase once again at Amazon.com. Soon, I hope.
UPDATE: As of 9:19 p.m. EST, on Friday, February 5, 2010, Amazon was offering the new mass market paperback version of The Horsemen’s Gambit for sale through its website at the same price as the Tor.com Store. The other online retailers’ prices for the book were about 10% lower when I checked earlier this week, but shipping charges and customer reward programs might offset the differences in price. The Kindle ebook version is currently unavailable for purchase.