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Saturday, 7 June 2014

Amazon V Hatchette - now it's all out war

The row between online giant , Amazon and US publisher Hatchette has now become an all out war - this weekend the UK newspaper, The Independent reported that, -  "For years, publishers in Britain and America have complained privately about the online giant’s tough negotiating tactics and relentless discounting, but few have been willing to speak out. However, the decision by Hachette, one of the “Big Five” publishers, to refuse to agree to a new contract with Amazon in America in a row about pricing could be a seminal moment."



 The negative press could actually harm Amazon in the eyes of book lovers, and for once Amazon are being seen by book buyers, their all important customers, as being a negative rather than positive force.

Hachette has gone public after customers began asking why some of its books have been unavailable to buy on Amazon. Other titles are being offered at full price, instead of on discount, or are taking many weeks to ship.


“By preventing its customers from connecting with these authors’ books, Amazon indicates that it considers books to be like any other consumer good,” says Hachette. “They are not.”

Authors are livid. US TV chat show host (and Hachette author) Stephen Colbert is so angry that he “gave the finger” twice to Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos on his TV show this week.

“This is a big blow to my bottom line,” warned the waspish Colbert. “This has pushed me past my tipping point... so watch out, Bezos, because this means war.”

To make his point, Colbert urged viewers to buy the book California by Hachette author Edan Lepucki via an independent bookseller in Oregon. It instantly became a best seller.Colbert, whose profile is sky-high after being named as the successor to talk-show legend David Letterman, also urged viewers to get a sticker saying “I Didn’t Buy It On Amazon” via his website. “We are going to prove that I can sell more books than Amazon,” declared Colbert. Other Hachette authors have felt similarly emboldened. JK Rowling, under her pseudonym Robert Galbraith, tweeted: “There are lots of ways to order (the Robert Galbraith book) #The Silkworm in US, as Amazon kindly suggest.”


Meanwhile, James Patterson published a post on Facebook under the headline of “Read four of the most important paragraphs I’ll ever write,” in which the author declared: “The press doesn’t seem to consider this newsworthy, but there is a war going on between Amazon and book publishers.

“This war involves money of course... Currently, Amazon is making it difficult to order many books from Little, Brown and Grand Central, which affects readers of authors such as Malcolm Gladwell, Nicholas Sparks, Michael Connelly, me and hundreds of others whose living depends on book sales.

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