Hachette Book Group

Authors United Ramps Up Amazon Campaign
August 7, 2014

Authors United is to run a full-page advertisement in the New York Times this weekend with an open letter signed by authors asking Amazon to end its dispute with Hachette Book Group (HBG).

Meanwhile in an email to supporters, writer Douglas Preston, who set up the protest group, claimed: "A few days ago, Amazon appears to have turned the screws a little more on Hachette authors by eliminating discounts on most of their books."

Hachette Ebook Sales Fall in Wake of Dispute with Amazon Over Pricing
August 5, 2014

The Hachette publishing group has reported a fall in ebook sales as it continues its battle with Amazon over pricing.

The publisher of Ian Rankin and Booker prize nominee Joshua Ferris has been at loggerheads with Amazon for several months, in a row that has led the online retailer to block pre-orders and delay deliveries of some of Hachette's bestselling authors in the US.

Lagardère, the French publishing company that owns Hachette, reported on Thursday that ebook sales in the US were down.

Lagardere Reports Hit to Hachette US Ebook Sales
August 1, 2014

Hachette Book Group's e-book sales declined as a proportion of its overall business in the first half of 2014, and the impact of the Amazon/Hachette Book Group dispute may have contributed, Dominique D'Hinnin, co-managing partner of Lagardere SCA, has said. In the US, net sales of e-books were down to 29% of trade net sales as against 34% at end-June 2013 in what the company called a "zero growth digital market". 

A Closer Look at Amazon's Statement on Ebook Pricing
July 31, 2014

Amazon's recent brief "clarification" calls for some brief annotation, which is all I can give it while I'm traveling this week. The material below that is not bolded is the complete statement Amazon has just issued. The bolded paragraphs preceded by [MS] are my annotations.

Amazon Just Revealed Exactly What's At Stake In Its Battle With Hachette
July 30, 2014

Amazon finally revealed the exact cause behind its long battle with "Big Five" book publisher Hachette in a public post on its Kindle forum: It's fighting for lower e-book prices and a 30% cut of sales. For the past several months, Amazon and Hachette have been having a very public pricing disagreement that left affected authors enraged and sparked a debate in the literary world about whether Amazon had too much power. We knew the battle was over e-books, but rumor had it that Amazon wanted a 50% cut of every sale, instead of 30%. 

Librarians, Media React to Launch of Kindle Unlimited
July 28, 2014

In a long-expected move, Amazon on July 18 announced the launch of Kindle Unlimited, a new subscription service that will give users unlimited access to a selection of 600,000 ebooks and more than 2,000 audiobooks on Amazon Kindle devices and any device with a Kindle app for $9.99 per month. Amazon is not first to market with an "all you can read" commercial ebook subscription platform-it follows last year's launch of Scribd and Oyster. But the online retailer's financial resources, marketing clout, and massive base of Kindle users will doubtless raise consumer awareness

Judge 'Concerned' Apple's $450 Million Ebook Settlement Could Hurt Consumers
July 25, 2014

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A U.S. judge on Thursday expressed concern over a proposed $450 million settlement of claims Apple Inc conspired with five publishers to fix e-book prices, saying its provisions could drastically reduce money paid to consumers depending on appeals.

U.S. District Judge Denise Cote in Manhattan said she found "most troubling" a clause requiring Apple to pay only $70 million if an appeals court reversed her finding that the company is liable for antitrust violations and sent it back to her for further proceedings.

Apple Agrees to Conditional $450 Million Ebooks Antitrust Accord
July 17, 2014

Apple Inc has agreed to pay $450 million to resolve U.S. state and consumer claims the iPad manufacturer conspired with five major publishers to fix e-book prices, according to court records filed Wednesday.

The settlement, which would provide $400 million for consumers, is conditioned on the outcome of a pending appeal of a New York federal judge's ruling last year that Apple was liable for violating antitrust laws.

The New Amazon Offer to Hachette
July 16, 2014

I was at 8,000 feet on a mountain hike in Colorado when a reporter called my cell phone, told me about Amazon's latest "offer" to "resolve" the dispute with Hachette, and asked for my reaction. My first thought was, "wow, what a brilliant move by Amazon and it seems, at first, like a win all around." I might have heard this wrong, but I think the reporter was under the impression at that point that Hachette would accept the offer. That was wrong, and so was my first reaction.

Amazon, a Friendly Giant as Long as It’s Fed
July 15, 2014

Is the resistance to Amazon a last-ditch bid to keep the future of American literary culture out of the hands of a rapacious corporation that calls books "demand-weighted units," or an effort by a bunch of dead-enders and snobs to forestall a future that will be much better for most readers and writers? Mr. Zandri, who 15 years ago had a $235,000 contract with a big New York house that went sour, has an answer.

"Everything Amazon has promised me, it has fulfilled - and more," he said.