June 11th, 2014

Is It All Because of Rowling?

Hachette versus Amazon has been a steady source of entertainment for, um, weeks now. Months, depending on your perspective, altho of course calling it entertainment isn't Very Nice to debut authors. Ahem.

Hachette is the publisher of Rowling's Robert Galbraith novels.

Some of the coverage of the Hachette dispute has mentioned Bonnier as being similarly involved in a dispute with Amazon. Bonnier is where Odedina went when she left Bloomsbury. At Bloomsbury, she shepherded Harry Potter into print.

http://www.thenextwomen.com/2011/10/25/sarah-odedina-publishing-harry-potter-launching-start

Now, Warner Bros. is in a dispute with Amazon. Warner Bros. made the Harry Potter movies.

David Streitfeld (h/t Nate over at The Digital Reader) notes:

"Disputes between retailers and vendors happen every day. What is unusual here is not Amazon’s relentless desire to gain margin from its suppliers, but the suppliers’ growing resolve to hold the line. If other suppliers adopt the same attitude, that might have significant implications for Amazon’s pell-mell growth."

Whenever someone notices how odd it is that a group of people suddenly grew a spine, I perk up, because I know the kind of thing that can cause a group of people to suddenly grow a spine. Usually, there's one widely connected and well-respected person with more spine than a platoon of Marines -- and that one person has decided to Fix Something. I've seen this kind of thing in action on a much smaller scale, because I have, on occasion, been the perp. Generally speaking, the sort of person who does this sort of thing is the last person you would expect it from -- and they don't want any bit of credit for it, so arguments involving how Rowling's name is nowhere near this thing won't convince me.

Also, Pottermore. Anyone who can pull off Pottermore can do all sorts of impossible things.

ps I was sort of weirded out by the idea that you couldn't get The Lego Movie yet, because I finally watched it and I bought it some time ago. I guess that is the difference between buying it as bits and buying it as bits on a disc.

pps Hey, this should all be considered irresponsible rumor-mongering by someone who doesn't know a damn thing and is engaging in free-form conspiracy creation. I thought that was obvious! Just because I'm all enamored of a theory doesn't mean you should believe it, and I trust you will not.

Also: http://www.bonnier.com/news-press/News/2012/May/Rowling-for-Adults/

ppps Against this theory is the continued presence of a pre-order button on Hot Key books on the main site:

http://www.amazon.com/Illusionists-Fearsome-Dreamer-Laure-Eve/dp/1471402606/