Amazon Sells THE PALE KING Early, Angers Booksellers


Good news for David Foster Wallace fans, bad news for booksellers: online retailers such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble have begun selling The Pale King two weeks ahead of its scheduled release date. While that’s great news for readers eager to get the posthumously published novel, brick and mortar booksellers are crying foul over what they see as an unfair advantage.

The Pale King is the highly anticipated, unfinished novel left behind by Wallace after his death. It’s about IRS staffers, and is appropriately scheduled for release on Tax Day, April 15th. However, as Nicole Dewey, a spokeswoman for Little, Brown, explains to the New York Times:

“The official on-sale date for the book was March 22, but the publication date — when the book is available everywhere — remained April 15. (A countdown clock on the Hachette Web site ticks away the days, hours and minutes until April 15.)

‘I don’t really understand the confusion,’ Ms. Dewey said. ‘This happens all the time. There’s nothing unusual about it.'”

So bookstores can begin selling The Pale King now, but the problem is that many haven’t received their shipments yet. That puts them at a major disadvantage compared to Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Have you seen The Pale King in bookstores yet? Will you buy it online now that you know it’s available early?

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  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_BLWEUEPO77XQGNYF4MDURACFVY gina

    why would surprise anyone that Amazon would play dirty? the strict on sale rule was designed as an attempt in some fashion to level the playing field, yet since no one holds Amazon accountable for well…anything – they just do whatever they like and of course its the little guy who plays by the rules who gets screwed.