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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Amazon Offers Hachette Authors One Hundred Percent of E-Book Sales

Posted by on Tue, Jul 8, 2014 at 2:40 PM

Yes, the Amazon/Hachette dispute is still going on, and it sounds like Amazon is trying to win Hachette's authors over to its side. Laura Hazard Owen at GigaOm writes:

David Naggar, VP of Kindle content and independent publishing, sent a letter to a few Hachette authors, literary agents and Authors Guild president Roxana Robinson over the weekend suggesting that “for as long as this dispute lasts, Hachette authors would get 100% of the sales price of every Hachette ebook we sell. Both Amazon and Hachette would forego all revenue and profit from the sale of every ebook until an agreement is reached.” The idea, seemingly, is that that loss of ebook revenue would “motivate both Hachette and Amazon to work faster to resolve the situation.”

You can read the entire letter at GigaOm, but here's a taste:

Here’s an example: if we sell a book at $9.99, the author would get the full $9.99, many multiples of what they would normally get. We can begin implementing this arrangement in 72 hours if Hachette agrees.

This probably isn't going to happen; Hazard Owen writes that Amazon presumably hasn't even approached Hachette with this offer. It's an attempt to make Amazon look like the pro-author side, and Hachette look like the money-grubbers, but I'm not sure how many authors will be swayed by an immediate payday at their publisher's expense. This looks to me like another attempt by Amazon to price their enemies out of the market, to pass on a short-term profit in hopes of grabbing an even bigger chunk of the market.


Comments (8) RSS

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Paul, you need a new hobby.
Posted by drawn on July 8, 2014 at 3:02 PM · Report this
Coming Soon: Hatchette Books free on Amazon!

That way, they deny money to Hatchette without having to pay authors.

Posted by rainbird on July 8, 2014 at 3:04 PM · Report this
fletc3her 3
Amazon reveals the true marginal cost of ebooks.
Posted by fletc3her on July 8, 2014 at 3:15 PM · Report this
Paul, it is my understanding that this dispute is because Hachette wants to charge more for eBooks than Amazon wants to. Is that incorrect? If that is correct, why exactly are "we" against it? Do you really think it is reasonable that eBooks should cost comparable prices to hardcovers/paperbacks?

Do you really think that eBooks are worth more than $3-5 when compared to paperbacks? (If you want to have a high initial price to prevent cannibalization of hardcovers, that's one thing, but the long term price of an eBook should not be as much, or higher, than a paperback!
Posted by randoma on July 8, 2014 at 3:20 PM · Report this
Amazon can do this all it wants, since it gets huge amounts of money from its other merchandise. As an attempt to make Hachette look like the moneygrubbers and itself look like the altruistic side, this is a failure. Amazon is still going to squeeze first Hachette and then every other publisher until they can't do business any longer, and then take over the publishing industry with p.o.d. issues of self-published "literature" printed on its own on-demand machines and completely unedited.
Posted by Calpete on July 8, 2014 at 4:19 PM · Report this
I really fail to see why I should feel sympathy for obsolete gatekeepers who feel I should pay more money for books so they can keep making millions.
Posted by giffy on July 8, 2014 at 5:29 PM · Report this
sloegin 7
Just remember that Amazon isn't doing this for *you*. They're doing this to drive other e-retail out of the market and boost their own margins.
Posted by sloegin on July 9, 2014 at 8:04 AM · Report this
I feel absolutely zero sympathy for publishers. In this day and age, what the hell do they provide to authors?
Posted by tigntink on July 9, 2014 at 8:44 AM · Report this

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