File this under Publishing's a Business: A publisher with a new and favorable book about Barack Obama is offering it first through Publish-On-Demand (P.O.D.), exclusively through Amazon.com. This is because it can -- and it wants the book available to readers before next week's Democratic convention. Now, so far, that's just good business -- for the publisher, for the readers, and for Amazon. Barnes & Noble, among other bookstores, is P.O.'d because brick-and-mortar stores wouldn't get Obama's Challenge for another two weeks, when it's yesterday's news and sales will be limp. So it'll be selling the book online, but not in stores. Read the story with all its juicy numbers and quotes in The Wall Street Journal.
The B&N spokeswoman says that by pre-releasing the book through Amazon, the publisher did not allow "an even playing field -- which is common practice in book publishing." (Authors, if that statement leaves you speechless, place here an emoticon of your choice.)
But unless the publisher made a contractual agreement regarding the book's availability, it's just business.