Amazon vs. Hachette: Are You Buying Less?

In Discussion by Dennis Abrams

In a survey of 5,300 book buyers, Codex Group reports 39% were aware of the Amazon/Hachette dispute — and 7.5% are buying less from Amazon. Are you?

By Dennis Abrams

Amazon vs. Hachette LogosForbes reports that because of Amazon’s dispute with Hachette, some book buyers have responded by purchasing their books from Barnes & Noble, independent bookstores, and Costco (in that order), instead of Amazon.

Publishers Lunch reported that:

“In a recent survey of almost 5,300 buyers (completed July 19), Peter Hildick-Smith of the Codex Group reports finding high awareness of the dispute. Just over 39 percent of respondents indicated that they were aware of the stand-off.

(At Shelf Awareness, they point out as a means of comparison that while 39% were aware of the Amazon/Hachette dispute, fewer knew about several of the authors involved in the dispute: 35% are aware of Lee Child, for example, while only 28% know who Malcolm Gladwell is.)

According to the survey:

“Among those book buyers aware of the dispute who have an opinion on that disagreement, 19 percent said they were buying books from Amazon, while 4.4 percent said they were buying more books from the etailer.”

According to Jeremy Greenfield at Forbes, this means that approximately 7.5% of book buyers say that they’re purchasing fewer books from Amazon because of the feud with Hachette, while 1.4% are buying more books from Amazon because of it.

The Codex Group survey also found that half of the “shifted buying” went to Barnes & Noble, independent bookstores,, used bookstores and Costco, in that order.

Shelf Awareness also reported Hildick-Smith called the results of the survey “very surprising,” adding that “It’s the first time we’ve seen people react to something about Amazon in a way that wasn’t positive.” The results showed, he continued, that the dispute has “gotten a wider stage because of Stephen Colbert, James Patterson and others.”

How are you responding to the Amazon/Hachette dispute? Are you buying less from Amazon? Have you shifted your buying to another retailer? Or are you indifferent to the issue? Let us know what you think in the comments.

About the Author

Dennis Abrams

Dennis Abrams is a contributing editor for Publishing Perspectives, responsible for news, children's publishing and media. He's also a restaurant critic, literary blogger, and the author of "The Play's The Thing," a complete YA guide to the plays of William Shakespeare published by Pentian, as well as more than 30 YA biographies and histories for Chelsea House publishers.