NEW YORK - It was a weird day in the book price wars.
The cost of John Grisham’s “Ford County,’’ released yesterday, moved up and down like stock market shares as rivals
Early in the day, Amazon was selling Grisham’s book of short stories for $9, the same price it had offered for “Ford County’’ before publication and a sign that Amazon was ready to continue the cost competition beyond the release date. Walmart.com was selling “Ford County’’ for $12 early yesterday, then cut the price to the preorder discount of $8.98. By yesterday afternoon, the cost was back up to $11.99 for both online sellers.
Amazon did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Hard covers generally have a list price of $24 or higher, but in mid-October Walmart.com announced dramatic cuts for preorders of “Ford County,’’ Sarah Palin’s “Going Rogue,’’ and other popular November publications.
Walmart.com initially charged $9 for the books, a price quickly matched by Amazon.com, then it dropped to just under $9 by Walmart.com and Target.com. Authors, publishers, and rival booksellers worry that cutting the price so low will harm competition and force down the cost of books overall.
“We run the risk of seriously devaluing out product,’’ Grisham said yesterday.