Feeds

Amazon pulls a fast one over latest Harry Potter

Cunning plot to get drop on rest of the book trade

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The essential guide to IT transformation

Harry Potter fans are waiting impatiently for JK Rowling's fourth book at noon on 8 July, but there is still great secrecy about the title. (To spoil the surprise the Sunday Telegraph has revealed it is called "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire".)

Booksellers have had to sign affidavits that they would not unpack them until publication day - but Amazon.com has decided to distribute copies a day earlier by overnight FedEx, with no extra charge for Saturday delivery.

Amazon says it is not breaking its affidavit, as the trusted employees who handle the book will have signed a separate affidavit prepared by Amazon. Scholastic, the publisher of the American edition, says it is watching the situation, but with Amazon having around 250,000 advanced orders for the book (out of 3.8 million in the first print run), it has a great deal of purchasing clout in doing things its own way - especially as it is offering a 40 per cent discount on the recommended price, which is equal to the retail margin available to many booksellers. Traditional booksellers are unhappy at Amazon's move, although rival online booksellers are not shipping until 8 July.

This may all be good publicity by Amazon, but it did not stop its share price zooming down 19 percent on Friday to a 52-week low after a Lehman analyst credit warned of high risk for Amazon's convertible bonds (annual interest around $60 million) that it issued to raise capital. Amazon called the report "hogwash" and said it had $1 billion in cash. Amazon is not expected to trade profitably with current operations until 2002.

Related story:
Amazon investors react to the obvious

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft exits climate denier lobby group
ALEC will have to do without Redmond, it seems
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE
Can't face sea of wobbling fondle implements. What happened to lighters, eh?
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
True fact: 1 in 4 Brits are now TERRORISTS
YouGov poll reveals terrible truth about the enemy within
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?