This almost seems as if it ought to be a "strange country" post. But it is not. The pictured offering of Mainstreaming Torture from Walmart is real.
Improbable as it may seem, Rebecca's book about which she is currently touring is available through Walmart.
That doesn't mean that it is available in the discount retailer's stores. According to marketing experts, the stores carry about 200 titles, all by famous best selling authors. Much as we might hope, Mainstreaming isn't likely to be among them.
But this is apparently a symptom of an emerging struggle between online and big box retailers for our dollars. Even Walmart fears the Amazon "Borg" will eat them. So Walmart has been dipping a toe into online book sales -- Amazon's original turf. In June when Amazon was impeding sales of Hachette titles in a pricing dispute, Walmart emailed blasted its customers, promoting the availability of the books through its channels.
Some commentators think it would be foolish to bet against Walmart.
Amazon's competitive advantage over Walmart is its unrivaled, hyper-efficient distribution capacity. Walmart aims to improve its own logistic capacity.
For the moment, I can't say Walmart has made itself competitive on this particular Oxford Press title. Its current listed price is about $5 higher that Amazon's and, to the West Coast, Walmart only promises about 7 day shipping at the regular, "value," level.
But clearly there's a retail war brewing.