If you are a book fan, now is the golden opportunity to buy a Best Seller at half price. An online special, promoted by Wal-Mart last week, has erupted into a full-fledged war between Wal-Mart and Amazon.
Wal-Mart sent the first salvo over Amazon’s bow on Thursday when the retail giant announced that it would sell ten highly anticipated books for $10 on Walmart.com. Wal-Mart said Stephen King’s upcoming hardcover “Under the Dome” and Sarah Palin’s “Going Rogue” will be included in that grouping. Wal-Mart’s prices include free shipping.
Not to be outdone, Amazon reduced prices to match Wal-Mart’s pricing on all 10 titles. That was quickly followed by Wal-Mart’s decision to reduce the prices on those books again to $9 late Thursday night. In response, Amazon reduced the prices of all ten titles to $9, as well.
On late Friday afternoon Wal-Mart shaved another cent off its already rock-bottom prices for hardcover editions of some of the coming holiday season’s biggest potential best sellers, offering them online for $8.99 apiece.
Publishers, booksellers, agents and authors, meanwhile, fear that the book battle was taking prices for certain hardcover titles so low that it could fundamentally damage the industry and the ability of future authors to write or publish new works.
Wal-Mart has said for the moment that its $8.99 offer is limited to 10 titles that will officially be released in November. Once they are published, the company said, the price could go up. Still, publishing industry veterans were worried about the potential long-term effect on the consumer mindset.
If you have a list of unpurchased books on your night table and were waiting until December to buy them, I think now is your rare opportunity to get them while there are surrealistically bargain-priced. Good Day.