One week after declaring war on Amazon, Stephen Colbert announced ColbertAmazonon his show last night that his campaign had resulted in the ordering of 6,400 copies of Edan Lepucki’s new novel California from the independent bookstore Powell’s Books. While maybe an impressive number in the book publishing world, where 15,00o books sold can land you on the New York Times bestseller list, it sounded on TV like a small-ish result for a campaign involving Colbert’s rabid follow-him-anywhere fans.

Related: Stephen Colbert Declares War On Amazon (Video)

ColbertAmazonStickerTo that point, Colbert told his followers, “You know what would really show Amazon that we will not lick their monopoly boot? If we put California on the New York Times bestseller list!” (watch the video below). But Colbert also broadened the game, telling viewers they could continue to order from Powell’s via ColbertNation.com — or, if they’d rather, through other indie bookstores, naming as examples Parnassus Books in Nashville, Politics and Pros in Washington, D.C., and Rainy Day Books in Kansas City.

Colbert began his campaign to give his publisher, Hachette a leg-up in its contract battle with Amazon; last week he urged viewers to stop ordering from Amazon and to purchase Hachette-published California, from first-time novelist Lepucki, from Powell’s.

The two sides aren’t sharing, but most pundits agree the contract battle between Amazon and Hachette is over e-book pricing, both wholesale and retail. According to press reports, Amazon wants Hachette to let it lower prices for e-books and ultimately pay Hachette less for them. Hachette has balked. Hachette has accused Amazon of slow restocking of some of its books, and of causing “available in 2-4 weeks” messages to appear on titles by Colbert and others. Some of Hachette’s books have been listed as “out of stock”, and recently Amazon removed pre-order capabilities for some books, according to Hachette. To rev up his audience, Colbert last night again explained Amazon’s tactic of not taking advance orders on new novels by first time authors, including California, is a death sentence for that book.

“It’s Go time, Lex Loser!” Colbert declared — Lex Loser being Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. Thanks to Bezos’s Amazon, “more people are getting screwed than in Fifty Shades Of Gray,” Colbert insisted.

Watch here:

Gemini
6 months
I'm on Amazon's side in this one!
No sympathy for
6 months
You must not watch much TV then. There have been a ton of commercials for Kindles and...
Jerry
6 months
I've never seen a commercial on TV for amazon ever.

Colbert’s campaign began last week and also included a flurry of tweets:

 

 

Amazon has been quoted in reports on the situation as saying, “Unfortunately, despite much work from both sides, we have been unable to reach mutually-acceptable agreement on terms.” Amazon recently was quoted telling customers inconvenienced by its battle with Hachette to seek the publishing house’s books elsewhere.

When he launched his war on Amazon last week, Colbert urged his viewers to boycott Amazon because, “I just found out it’s deterring customers from buying books from Stephen Colbert.”

“This is a big blow to my bottom line,” Colbert said on last week’s Wednesday telecast. In addition to buying California from Powell’s, he also urged viewers to download a sticker — also available on his site, that says “I Didn’t Buy It On Amazon” to slap on all their books, and other products.