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How is Amazon Selling Paperback Versions of Caste?


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If you are a bookseller and do not have a copy of Isabel Wilkerson's new book, Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents, in your hands right now, you are probably gonna have to wait until the end the month to score any copies -- assuming you placed your order soon enough in advance to get copies before they sell out again.  That is unless of course you are Amazon.


Now Amazon is always doing something devilish when popular books are really scarce. Today they are selling a paperback version of Caste, for $41.18 -- more than the $32 retail price of the hardcover.  OK Amazon will argue that they are not actually selling the book, but Amazon is providing the platform and profiting from the transactions. 


Now Caste has been published in hardcover and audiobook formats, but not paperback.  So how is Amazon selling paperback version of this book?  Are they selling pre-publication galleys (you are not allowed to sell galleys)? Are they selling a bootlegged version (piracy is illegal)? Did Random House give them the exclusive right to sell this the paperback version (that would not surprise me)?


Any ideas how are is selling a paperback version of Caste?

what is amazon up to now.jpg



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It is certain the publisher was not behind this.  I'm not going to waste any more of my time tying to "help" them.  I don't have a meaningful relationship with anyone at PRH ... I know, that is very telling right.  Gives you some insight on the state of marketing at some of these big publishing houses.


Amazon has deleted the "bootleg" version of Caste and, true to form, is engaging in predatory pricing selling the book at 40% off.  40% is the discount AALBC and many booksellers get from distributors.  I'm pretty confident Amazon gets a higher discount, but are probably still selling at a lost, once you factor in shipping, labor, storage, insurance, etc.


All indie booksellers would sell more copies of this book if Amazon were not allowed to engage in this behavior.


I wonder of companies like PHR are happy to see the number of places able to sell their books reduced to one company?







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