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Apple dings Amazon by discounting Hachette books

Apple dings Amazon by discounting Hachette books

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Apple has jumped into the fight between Amazon and publisher Hachette, which are embroiled in a dispute over pricing.

While Amazon has reduced its inventory order from Hachette and halted pre-orders on forthcoming titles, Apple decided to discount and promote 26 of the affected books for $9.99. The titles include Harry Potter author JK Rowling’s new book The Silkworm and a book from best-selling writer James Patterson.

Halting pre-orders can have a devastating effect on publishers because those sales are used to calculate bestseller lists. Amazon has compared its tactics to a bookstore that buries a title on a back shelf or decides not to stock it at all.

While Apple has been dinged in the past for pricing ebooks too high, it now seems happy to lower prices in order to skim sales from Amazon.