Amazon is a pretty big name when it comes to online retailing. The company sells all sorts of products, ranging from household items to electronics and books. Given their size and popularity, safe to say that they have a lot of power when it comes to negotiating with suppliers and publishers, as evidenced in a recent dispute over contracts with book publisher Hachette.
For those who missed our earlier coverage, basically Amazon and Hachette have failed to arrive at an agreement over their contract. Both companies are in negotiation but in the meantime, Amazon has delayed Hachette-published books, refused to stock them, and have also increased the prices so as to put pressure on Hachette to quickly arrive at a deal. however in the process, authors are the ones who are suffering the brunt of the dispute as this means that their books aren’t being sold.
However perhaps as a peace offering, or perhaps to persuade authors to come take their side, Amazon has since announced that they will be giving authors 100% of ebook revenues. This is according to reports from The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times who reports that Amazon is currently sending out letters to authors and their agents, informing them of this new deal.
If Hachette were to take Amazon up on their offer, the retailer giant will restore “normal levels of on-hand print inventory, return to normal pricing in all formats, and for books that haven’t gone on sale yet, reinstate pre-orders.” Sounds good, right? Unfortunately not everyone seems to buy into Amazon’s new ploy.
According to Roxana Robinson, the president of the Author’s Guild, “If Amazon wants to have a constructive conversation about this, we’re ready to have one at any time. But this seems like a short-term solution that encourages authors to take sides against their publishers. It doesn’t get authors out of the middle of this — we’re still in the middle. Our books are at the center of this struggle.”
Well either way hopefully for the sake of authors and readers out there that both Amazon and Hachette will be able to come to some kind of understanding and agreement in the near future.