From Publishing Perspectives:
While there probably are people in the publishing industry who—even in a life-and-death world pandemic—will not want to say that Amazon is doing the right thing, Amazon is doing the right thing in announcing that, “We are temporarily prioritizing household staples, medical supplies, and other high-demand products coming into our fulfillment centers so that we can more quickly receive, restock, and ship these products to customers.”
Books, along with many other product classifications, for the moment are being deprioritized.
At Publishers Weekly, Jim Milliot and John Maher reported Tuesday (March 17), “Amazon has told other suppliers, including publishers, that their goods will receive a low priority until at least April 5, according to both a letter PW has obtained that was sent to independent publishers earlier today.”
“We will let you know once we resume regular operations,” Amazon writes to its third-party vendors. “Shipments created before today will be received at fulfillment centers.”
. . . .
Describing Amazon’s new move to channel its forces toward crisis response first, Rachelle Hampton writes at Slate, “As more cities resort to drastic shelter-in-place measures and photos of empty grocery store aisles circulate on the internet, the giant e-tailer has stepped in to fill the gaps, but even it’s straining under the weight of an unprepared country. Many listings for items like hand sanitizer and toilet paper showed that they were out of stock or that delivery would be delayed by several days.”
Milliot and Maher at PW add, “The letter [to vendors] closed by noting that the e-tailer is aware of the effect this will have on businesses, and is ‘working around the clock to increase capacity, and on March 16 announced that we are opening 100,000 new full- and part-time positions in our fulfillment centers across the US.’”
Link to the rest at Publishing Perspectives
PG notes that, in typical Big Corporate Publishing style, no mention is made that Amazon (and other etailers) is/are still selling lots and lots of ebooks to readers who are staying inside.
PG also notes that an Amazon search for coronavirus will yield (at least in the US) a link from Amazon at the top of the results to coronavirus information from the Centers for Disease Control followed by some dodgy-sounding and very recently published books about topics such as how to make your own hand sanitizer (63 pages) and instant home school (33 pages).