I am designing a website for a friend, who shall remain nameless for the purposes of this post, who has a book coming out next month.
The publisher told her that she MUST have a website for marketing purposes, but provides no support for this at all, which is why I am doing it. My friend asked several times what to do about a 'buy' link, and they ignored all her emails.
Then, after the site was already done, someone looked at it and said "include more places to buy." They provided a link to their catalog, which includes a number of sites to buy the book.
One of those sites is Alibris, which in case you don't know, is a used bookseller.
When she inquired about this, she was told "it's a corporate decision." In other words, !%&$ you, author, and your sales numbers and your royalties.
This is just one of many stories I could tell but I will leave it at this: they will blame it on the economy and the web and people not reading anymore, but if the publishing business is collapsing, they have no one to blame but themselves.
It's a shame, really. I kind of don't want to publish a book so much anymore after this experience, but I really liked reading them, you know? It will be sad when they are gone.