Hachette Book Group
There are 25 books featured for $9.99 in the Popular Pre-Orders category on Apple's iBooks store, all of which are published by Hachette. Authors on the list include Harry Potter's J.K. Rowling and mystery author James Patterson. Barnes & Noble Inc. (BKS:US), another e-book competitor, is taking pre-orders for Rowling's new work, "The Silkworm," for $14.99 for its Nook tablet.
Hachette Book Group has shut down its Business Plus imprint as part of a round of layoffs and restructuring that has also claimed several longtime top editors. The cuts come as the publisher remains locked in what seems destined to be a lengthy battle with Amazon over e-book pricing.
Founded in 2000, Business Plus will be folded into Grand Central Publishing, Hachette's largest imprint, the company announced Thursday. Business Plus's publisher and editor-in-chief, Rick Wolff, who was also its founder, was among the reported 28 employees recently let go.
Amazon has a 78% market share of Hachette Livre e-book titles in the UK and a 60% share in the US, an Investor Day presentation by Hachette Livre has revealed. The presentation, made public on the company's website and first reported by Publishers Marketplace, has shed fresh light into how hard the publisher must be being hit by its current row over terms with Amazon in the US, which has seen pre-ordering removed from selected Hachette Book Group titles. The presentation has also discussed a necessary "rebalancing" between the company's US and UK operations.
The Competition Bureau says it has struck a deal with four publishers that should lower the price of e-books for Canadian consumers.
The federal agency has struck a deal with Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins, Macmillan and Simon & Schuster that will "allow retailers to discount e-books published by four of Canada's largest e-book publishers," it said in an email in response to queries by CBC News.
The publishers will also eliminate what is known as "most-favoured-nation" clauses in their agreements, which links the price, cost or commission of e-books sold at one retailer
A prominent industry analyst, Mike Shatzkin, has been arguing for some time that publishers ought to raise e-book royalty rates. For him, the point is not that this would be the fair thing to do; he just thinks it would be the best move strategically. By leaving royalty rates where they are, publishers have left their nice digital margins hanging out there for everyone to see. And when Amazon sees someone else’s healthy profits, it’s like a dog smelling a steak. As Jeff Bezos has said, “Your margin is my opportunity.”