So you remember that thing where Amazon is blocking the sale of products on its website from Hachette (and Time Warner) as a negotiating tactic? Well, Apple would like you to know it would be pleased as punch to sell you those books on the iBooks Store.
Apple launched a promotional bar at the top of the home page on the iBooks Store called "Popular Pre-Orders: $9.99 or Less." Funny thing about those books—as first noted by Re/code—they're all titles published by Hachette Digital, Inc., one of the ebook imprints of the publishing giant. They're exactly the type of books that Amazon usually offers for preorder, but Amazon has pulled preorder options for all of them in its dispute.
As shown in the screenshot below, these titles include Invisible by James Patterson (and David Ellis), The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith (a.k.a. J.K. Rowling), and The Girls of August by Anne Rivers Siddons. All these titles have a few things in common. They are highly anticipated books; they were written by popular authors; they are priced at $9.99 (or less); and, none of them are available on Amazon.
Front and Center on the iBooks Store
If you click through to See All, you'll find 25 pre-orders in total, and surprise, they're all Hachette titles.
Wait, That's Two James Patterson Books Coming Out?
(Hint: there are actually four!)
Apple confirmed the promotion for Re/code, but wouldn't comment on pricing. This is relevant because these prices are quite aggressive, and pricing is one of the very things Amazon and Hachette are fighting over.
Either Hachette was willing to cut its DOJ-enforced wholesale price to Apple in order to stick it to Amazon, or Apple is willing to suck up a loss in order stick it to Amazon and maybe get some share, too.
What's certain is the fight between Amazon and Hachette seems likely to become more interesting.