Copies of Margaret Atwood’s feverishly awaited sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale, The Testaments, have already made their way to readers, via Amazon, despite one of the strictest sale-date embargoes many booksellers have ever been forced to sign. The book is not scheduled for sale until September 10 (you may have noticed Ms. Atwood on the cover of TIME).
This is really fucking bad for bookstores, which rely on income bumps from event-level books like this, and adds the burden of disappointing customers expecting to buy the book in store. Details emerged yesterday, as booksellers on Twitter (see below) outlined the impact of this broken embargo with no small amount of justifiable anger. No word yet on whether this is a mistake or not, but it’s hard to conceive of any situation in which Amazon deserves the benefit of the doubt.
A reasonable person might argue that a vendor should see consequences for every copy of an embargoed book they release early. https://t.co/bx5a5gKAdW
— Lexi Beach (@lexiatwork) September 4, 2019
We are community gathering spaces, we host author readings & story times, we provide personalized recommendations to readers of all ages & we depend on those big books to pay our bills. Nozama breaks embargo on one of the most anticipated books in years & whoopsie. https://t.co/x0gu1Rud1l
— Caitlin Luce Baker (@Cait_onthe_Luce) September 4, 2019