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

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Musicians sue UK.gov over 'zero pay' copyright fix
Everyone else in Europe compensates us - why can't you?
Bladerunner sequel might actually be good. Harrison Ford is in it
Go ahead, you're all clear, kid... Sorry, wrong film
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Megaupload overlord Kim Dotcom: The US HAS RADICALISED ME!
Now my lawyers have bailed 'cos I'm 'OFFICIALLY' BROKE
Euro Parliament VOTES to BREAK UP GOOGLE. Er, OK then
It CANNA do it, captain.They DON'T have the POWER!
Forget Hillary, HP's ex CARLY FIORINA 'wants to be next US Prez'
Former CEO has political ambitions again, according to Washington DC sources
prev story

Whitepapers

10 ways wire data helps conquer IT complexity
IT teams can automatically detect problems across the IT environment, spot data theft, select unique pieces of transaction payloads to send to a data source, and more.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
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?
Website security in corporate America
Find out how you rank among other IT managers testing your website's vulnerabilities.