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Celebrity authors blast Amazon in publisher dispute

Colbert
Rowling

– A plug from Stephen Colbert and prize-winning author Sherman Alexie has landed a debut novel at the top of at least one best-seller list.

And that list is not on Amazon.com.

As of Thursday afternoon, Edan Lepucki’s “California” was No. 1 on www.powellsbooks.com, the website for Powell’s Books in Portland, Oregon, one of the country’s leading independent booksellers.

Colbert assailed Amazon on his Comedy Central program Wednesday night. Amazon is in a contract dispute with Hachette Book Group and has been delaying shipments for some Hachette books, including for Colbert’s “America Again,” and removing the pre-order option for “California” and other upcoming works.

Colbert twice flipped his middle finger at Amazon and brought on Alexie, a Hachette author who recommended “California.” Colbert suggested viewers buy the book from Powell’s.

Earlier Wednesday, J.K. Rowling added a subtle comment under pen name Robert Galbraith about the standoff between Hachette and Amazon.com.

The “Harry Potter” author noted in a tweet from @rgalbraith that there are “lots of ways to order” her novel “The Silkworm” in the U.S., as “Amazon kindly suggest(s).” Rowling spokeswoman Rebecca Salt confirmed that the Twitter account was authentic.

Amazon isn’t accepting pre-orders for “The Silkworm.” It is Rowling’s second Galbraith detective novel, due out June 19.

Hachette author James Patterson and non-Hachette author John Green are among others who have strongly criticized the Seattle-based online retailer.

Amazon has suggested that the negotiations will be prolonged and that customers in the meantime can buy Hachette books from its competitors.

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