Saturday, 31 May 2014
Amazon's fight with publisher affects customers
This is not the first time the online giant have fought publishers in such an aggressive manner, but this time many bestselling authors have become involved and Amazon are very clearly being seen as the bad guy.
Amazon and Hachette are reportedly at odds over terms for eBook prices, at a time when Amazon is in a position of strength and vulnerability. The Seattle-based company is the most powerful force in the book market, believed to have a share of more than 60% of eBook sales and at least a third of book sales overall. Rivals have struggled to compete with Amazon's discounts and customer service.But recent earnings reports have been disappointing and Amazon's stock prices, which surged for years despite narrow profits, have dropped sharply in 2014.
Numerous Hachette authors have criticised Amazon in recent weeks, including Sherman Alexie and James Patterson, who on his Facebook page noted that the purchase of books written by him, Malcolm Gladwell, Nicholas Sparks and others had been made more difficult. Some author's have also charged Amazon with a large drop in their royalties and Amazon have responded with a pool of money set aside to compensate affected authors.