For the first time since late May, Amazon customers can pre-order at least some titles from Hachette Book Group — principally Little, Brown books, set for imminent release (such as Kevin Pietersen’s AUTOBIOGRAPHY, publishing December 1) as well as books not scheduled until spring 2015 (including Cathy by John Carder Bush in April, and books by Susanna Gregory in February and March). From our searches Wednesday morning the restored pre-orders apply only to Little, Brown and have not been extended to Grand Central, FaithWords, Orbit or other HBG divisions. In addition, all of the prominent forthcoming releases highlighted on HBG’s own web site (James Patterson’s November Hope to Die and his December title The Lost; George Pelecanos’s The Martini Shot and Seth Grahame-Smith’s The Last American Vampire in January) are still listed as “currently unavailable.”
At the same time, Amazon has resumed broader discounting of at least some HBG new release hardcovers — including the 4 titles featured on Amazon’s 100 Best Books of the Year list, which, as we noted over the weekend, started off as the only undiscounted hardcovers on that list.
Significant stocking issues remain, so a title like the just-released David Foster Wallace reader is still listed as “usually ships in 4 to 7 weeks.” And, as luck would have it, United Authors agitator Douglas Preston’s Blue Labyrinth, which released yesterday, is not discounted — but it is available immediately.
So some kind of change is underway, following rumors that the longstanding standoff over selling terms between Amazon and HBG has finally come to a resolution. Neither party has commented for now, but stay tuned for updates.