Is Amazon Sparing Paul Ryan’s Book the Hachette Treatment?

New York Times tech writer David Steitfeld can’t find a good explanation for why Representative Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) new novel about man’s struggle with meaninglessness symbolized by a powerful whale book is getting such special treatment from Amazon.

Ryan’s publisher Hachette is locked in a bitter and protracted dispute with the retailer over pricing. The publisher has accused Amazon of intentionally tanking its books by burying them on the webpage, disallowing preorders, refusing discounts, and shipping them in slo-mo. Ryan’s book was part of this until the representative complained on CNBC. Per Streitfeld:

Was Amazon listening? At right about that moment, the retailer suddenly began treating Mr. Ryan, the 2014 Republican vice presidential nominee, much better. Customers could suddenly find his book. It was fully discounted. And they could get it immediately.

Streitfeld found a few other Hachette titles (one of which was about #Benghazi) that were spared the punishment, while books that sold better than Ryan’s were not. Both Amazon and Ryan declined Steitfeld’s request for comment.

Rumors that at the end of Ryan’s book he and the whale defeat the social safety net together and learn the value of industry went unconfirmed at press time.

[h/t New York Times]

[Image via Christopher Halloran /]

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