Last Friday Michael Tamblyn, president and COO of ereading platform Kobo, took to Twitter with a 32-tweet manifesto on the Amazon-Hachette dispute. Tamblyn's tweets were meant to sway self-published authors from so heartily supporting Amazon, as many have throughout Hachette's negotiations. (Here's a link to the first in the series, but you can trace the whole monologue on Twitter starting on the morning of October 17th.)
Hachette Book Group
Hachette today launched an ambitious initiative to share the entirety of its sales-data with its authors and their agents. The new sales channel, The Author and Agent Portal, will feature confidential sales reports for all of its titles, Nielsen BookScan weekly sales data, an online-piracy-reporting tool, prepublication timelines, and more. Agents will have access to all of the information that their author sees and will receive regular royalty statements through the platform.
Remember that Amazon/Disney dispute that was supposed to be yet another harbinger of the doom Amazon was looking to bring down upon all its suppliers? Well, that's over. Or at least negotiated to a point Amazon was willing to reinstate preorders and such on Disney products. So much for the doom. It lasted a little under two months.
There's also this little tidbit from the same Wall Street Journal article:
"A similar dispute between Amazon and Time Warner Inc.'s Warner Bros. in the spring lasted several weeks.
The authors are uniting. Last spring, when Amazon began discouraging customers from buying books published by Hachette, the writers grumbled that they were pawns in the retailer's contract negotiations over e-book prices. During the summer, they banded together and publicly protested Amazon's actions. Now, hundreds of other writers, including some of the world's most distinguished, are joining the coalition. Few if any are published by Hachette. And they have goals far broader than freeing up the Hachette titles. They want the Justice Department to investigate Amazon for illegal monopoly tactics.
Following its letter to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos on August 9, Authors United posted a new letter to Amazon's board of directors online Monday. Amazon's "sanctions have driven down Hachette authors' sales at Amazon.com by at least 50 percent and in some cases as much as 90 percent. These sales drops are occurring across the board: in hardcovers, paperbacks, and e-books," the letter states, continuing: "We find it hard to believe that all members of the Amazon board approve of these actions. We would like to ask you a question: Do you as an Amazon director approve of this policy
The battle between Amazon and the French publisher Hachette is not just a spat about the price of books. Their row over ebook prices, which led to the online retailer freezing out pre-orders of Hachette books and has provoked angry words from authors such as Donna Tartt and Phillip Pullman, could determine the next chapter of the publishing industry.
Even before the latest dispute, publishers were thinking about how to reinvent themselves, from developing their own digital content to trying to build a direct relationship with readers
lately Amazon has become the Goofus of publishing news, the surly, inconsiderate and gauche kid who never seems to get anything right. This is not to say that Amazon is any less powerful in the marketplace or less likely to triumph in its ongoing war against book publishers. But on the P.R. front, in its most recent battle against the Hachette Book Group, the online retailer has stumbled again and again.
Jeff Bezos is betting consumers are so hooked on Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN:US)'s easy shopping and fast delivery that they won't revolt even as negotiations with suppliers make it harder to find some items on the site.
Amazon's chief executive officer is gambling on shoppers like Paul Shi, 23, who signed up for the company's Prime fast-shipping service two years ago. Shi, a New York resident who buys products ranging from flip flops to used books on Amazon, said he's keeping his spending patterns the same even
Anybody who reads Amazon's latest volley in the Amazon-Hachette war and then David Streitfeld's takedown of it on the New York Times's web site will know that Amazon - either deliberately or with striking ignorance - distorted a George Orwell quote to make it appear that he was against low-priced paperbacks when he was actually for them. This recalls the irrelevant but delicious irony that the one time Amazon exercised its ability to claw back ebooks it had sold was when they discovered that they were selling unauthorized ebooks of Orwell's "1984″.
The Hachette Book Group's deal to acquire the independent publisher Perseus has collapsed after months of negotiations, representatives from each company said on Thursday.
The three-way agreement among Hachette, Perseus and the book distributor Ingram had been in the works since February and was announced in late June. Under the proposed arrangement, Hachette would have acquired Perseus's 10 publishing imprints, and Ingram would have taken on Perseus's distribution business, which distributes books for more than 400 independent publishers. The sale was scheduled to be completed in late July.