November 26, 2019

Amazon orders are up again


The Amazon Fulfillment Center (FC) in Shakopee, Minnesota (Tony Webster, CC BY 2.0)

Earlier this month, Jim Milliot at Publisher’s Weekly reported that Amazon had been slashing orders to publishers since late October. Milliot is back, writing that Amazon orders are increasing and publishers are breathing a sigh of relief. One anonymous source told him “that we received a massive order the other night that makes up for the shortfall in November and then some.”

It is widely suspected that warehouse congestion was the reason for declining orders with Amazon stocking up on big-ticket items ahead of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. As our post covering the reduced orders said ordering irregularities in the run up to Prime Day or other promotional periods are not uncommon and warehouse back-ups are to usually to blame. When Milliot asked Amazon about the low book orders a representative said “the company’s teams and systems are always evaluating what they expect its customers want to buy and placing orders to its vendors to ensure that it has enough stock in inventory to meet its customers’ needs.”

However, this particular stretch of low orders fell at the beginning of the holiday season and left many publishers unsure of how they would meet their sales goals. While things are certainly looking up, some publishers feel they aren’t quite out of the woods yet. As one source told Milliot, “I just hope there are no snags with getting pickups and that orders stay strong through the next two weeks.”

Really though, if you are considering books as a holiday gift, you should buy them from your local bookstore.



Alyea Canada is an editor at Melville House.