The TV host has encouraged his viewers to boycott the online retailer.
Stephen Colbert has kicked off a war with Amazon after learning of the online retailer's quarrel with the TV host's book publisher, Hachette. Amazon has been accused of refusing orders for upcoming Hachette books, raising prices, and deliberately delaying shipments - sometimes by 3-4 weeks - in order to renegotiate its e-book pricing, according to Deadline.
"This is a big blow to my bottom line," Colbert said, referring to the long delivery delay for his book, America Again: Re-Becoming the Greatness We Never Weren't. In response, the comedy star announced he had made arrangements through an independent Portland-based bookstore called Powell's Books to sell copies of Edan Lepucki's new Hachette release, California.
Naturally, Lepucki's novel became an instant bestseller, leaving the independent retailer swamped as fans crowded to make the protest purchase in solidarity with Colbert's Amazonian beef. "Hi Colbert fans! Our site is going a little slow bc there are SO MANY of you but don't worry, we'll get all your orders! Thank you!" Powells tweeted.
Colbert is also urging viewers to download a sticker via his website that says "I Didn't But It On Amazon" to stick on book. "Watch out Bezos - this means war!" Colbert warned Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos as his campaign gained steam. It is believed that Hachette will try to resolve its dispute with Amazon but the online retailer may want to hurry negotiations along before Colbert takes over from David Letterman and has access to a far wider audience.
"Together we can #CutDownTheAmazon by buying "California" from http://colbertnation.com ! Which will lead to more regular deforestation," he tweeted, rallying the troops.
Author Sherman Alexie, who is also published by Hachette, made an appearance on The Colbert Report to reinforce the TV star's boycott. "I'm just happy to be here," the National Book Award winner said. "If Amazon had been in charge of the travel, it would have taken me two to five weeks to get here."
As of this morning, California was at the top of the Powells.com bestseller list and was accompanied by Colbert's book I Am a Pole (and So Can You!) at No. 9 and Alexie's The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian at No. 17.
In Retaliation To Amazon's Treatment Of Hachette, Colbert Organised A Mass Boycott.