Edan Lepucki appeared on "The Colbert Report" Tuesday night to talk about her debut novel, "California," and thank Colbert and his fans for getting it onto bestseller lists.
"Thank you Colbert Nation for buying my book and reading it," she said. "I'm so, so incredibly grateful to be on this show and to have my book talked about. I just really appreciate it. So thank you."
Lepucki's book has become a battering ram in Colbert's battle against Amazon. "For the past six weeks we in the Colbert Nation have been at war with Amazon," Colbert explained. "Oh, we're going to wipe the smirk right off that box's face."
The online retailer has been playing hardball in its negotiations with Hachette, Colbert's -- and Lepucki's -- publisher. Amazon has imposed artificial delays on existing Hachette books, made them difficult to find on its site and impossible to pre-order.
To illustrate their tactics to a wide audience, Colbert selected a single upcoming Hachette book -- Lepucki's "California" -- and asked viewers to pre-order it from Powell's, an independent bookseller with a robust online store. So many people did, and so many purchased it in person from brick-and-mortar bookstores, that it debuted on the New York Times bestseller list at No. 3.
It was author Sherman Alexie, National Book Award winner, fellow Hachette author and occasional "Colbert Report" guest who recommended Lepucki's book to Colbert on the show. When Lepucki appeared Tuesday, she paid it forward by recommending another debut novelist's upcoming Hachette book: "Sweetness #9" by Stephan Eirik Clark.
"Stephan, I'm going to ask you to pick two of those three names ...," Colbert joked. "If you're looking for another book to bump, that would be the one."