Friday, August 31, 2007


This from The Bookseller today:

Christmas has kicked off in August this year with Jamie Oliver's latest title already available for less than half price. Jamie at Home (£25) is published on 6th September—a month earlier than last year's Christmas bestseller Cook with Jamie in order to tie in to Oliver's new television series on Channel 4. The earlier release date means vicious discounting of the hardback has already begun, with booksellers slashing their prices in the anticipation that the cookbook will be one of the key performers this Christmas. is selling the cookbook, out next week, for £12.49 with free postage; the book is already number two in its online chart. W H Smith is also offering the book for less than half price, selling it online for £12.49 excluding delivery. It was number one in the retailer's non-fiction chart at the time of going to press. is offering the book for £12.45 excluding postage; it was number one in the supermarket's pre-order chart on Wednesday. The book is at number three on's chart, where it is on sale for £12.49. is selling the book for £14.99 including free delivery. Play does not include pre-orders on its books chart, but books category manager Georgina Stoaling said it is already selling very well. "For such a high-profile title, it's not surprising that such competitive pricing has kicked off so early," she said.

Independent booksellers hit out at the discounting, saying it is devaluing the worth of hardbacks. Stephen Poulter, co-owner of Books@Hoddesdon in Hertfordshire, said the levels of discounting were "ludicrous". "It's incredibly dangerous that this is going on," he said. "People buy hardback books because of their worth. They are perceived as a gift. This is not going to continue for much longer if this keeps happening." Anna Dreda, owner of Wenlock Books in Much Wenlock, added: "It feels like money is being thrown away, from the industry's point of view."
Amazon said its half-price offer on Jamie Oliver fits with its strategy of "offering the best price possible on all titles". A spokesman predicted that its strong sales of the title would continue throughout the Christmas period: "There is a good chance that it will replicate the success of Cook with Jamie, which was one of our bestsellers for Christmas 2006."

Footnote for NZ readers:

Penguin Books NZ advise that publication here is 5 October and that the RRP is $75.00.

For Bookman Beattie, who claims to be Jamie's greatest NZ fan, 5 October cannot come soon enough. I have seen some adavance pages from this new title and I can tell you it is going to be an absolute knockout!

1 comment:

NZBookgirl said...

Afraid I couldn't face either the wait until October or the $75 price tag and ordered Jamie at Home, along with Nigella Lawson's new book, both due out on 6 Sept, both for half price from Amazon UK. Even with freight I'm still ahead and will no doubt have them before they even hit the shelves here. Mildly guilty at feeding the discounting machine but wouldn't be able to afford the books otherwise.