Don’t get me wrong. I love Amazon. I buy lots of books from Amazon, and I link to my new books at Amazon as a matter of course, but this galls me. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows could be a great boon to the entire book business and to small bookstores everywhere, but many stores are taking a hit on the final Potter book or not stocking many copies because they can’t compete with Amazon’s deep discounts. And now we know that even Amazon isn’t making any money on the deal: Inc. has taken more than a million pre-orders for the final “Harry Potter” book due out in July, but the world’s largest Web retailer won’t make a profit, Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos told shareholders at the company’s annual meeting Thursday. Amazon’s handling of the “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” release – a $17 discount off cover price, a free shipping offer and guaranteed on-time delivery – showed yet again that the company is willing to take a hit to cement customer loyalty.

I guess that’s no surprise, but I’d encourage you to think about where you buy your books and whether your purchase supports your local economy, your local tax base and small businesses, or whether your purchase supports an admitted loss leader and predatory discounting that is ultimately killing your own local bookstore.

This is one book we’re buying from our local bookseller.

Link, via Publishers Lunch.

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