Politics & Prose Gives Amazon the Business

Posted July 9, 2014 at 12:43pm

The District’s highest profile independent bookstore is getting political once more, weighing in on the ongoing tug-of-war between online retailer Amazon and authors with some cheeky in-store signage.  

“Hachette Titles: Usually ships in  … Oh, wait, just pick it up right now!” Team P&P touts in front of a display featuring the latest imprint to tangle with the one-click-and-a-drone-will-deliver-it-right-to-your-doorstep giant for control of the e-publishing revenue stream.  

A secondary placard posted within the landing spot (5015 Connecticut Ave. NW) for rising/sitting/retired politicos with great stories to tell paraphrases from the commentary that prolific author and voracious reader James Patterson posted on his personal website earlier this spring about the troubling literary row. “The press doesn’t seem to consider this newsworthy, but there is a war going on between Amazon and book publishers … Currently, Amazon is making it difficult to order many books from Little, Brown and Grand Central, which affects readers of authors such as Malcolm Gladwell, Nicholas Sparks, Michael Connolly, me, and hundreds of others whose living depends on book sales. What I don’t understand about this particular battle tactic is how it is in the best interest of Amazon customers, it certainly doesn’t appear to be in the best interest of authors … Ultimately, inevitably, the quality of American literature will suffer,” Patterson warns in the truncated statement.  

P&P aides did not respond to inquiries regarding what type of response the none-too-subtle jab at their web competition had elicited from the shop’s fiercely loyal fan base.  

Meanwhile, some within the HOH hierarchy couldn’t help but wonder if Bradley Graham and Lissa Muscatine — the Washington Post alumni who assumed ownership of P&P a few years back — had any personal interest in ribbing Amazon founder and newly minted WaPo owner, Jeff Bezos.  

But it’s not all fun and games at P&P. Their next Literary Series event is a luncheon with Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor scheduled for Sept. 14 at noon.