Amazon & Hachette Feud Update: Amazon suggests giving 100% of the proceeds to authors while feud continues
This is Amazon trying to make clear that their beef is with Hachette (and the others in the Big 5) and not with authors. Will Hachette agree to this? Of course not.
The reason Amazon is playing hardball with Hachette is that Hachette is the first of the big traditional publishing houses to renegotiate its terms with Amazon, after the Department of Justice found that the Big 5 (minus one) and Apple were colluding to fix prices.
Whatever deal Hachette gets will be the new bar set by the publishing industry, and the rest of the Big 5 will demand the same terms.
The online retailer appealed directly to Hachette-published authors on Tuesday with a letter suggesting that the authors receive 100% of their e-book sales while the feud continues, The New York Times Bits blog reports.
A letter penned by vice president of Kindle content, David Naggar and sent to a small group of Hachette authors and literary agents for feedback, suggests that until a definitive deal is reached neither Amazon nor Hachette would make any money off the authors’ e-books.
If Hachette agrees, for as long as this dispute lasts, Hachette authors would get 100% of the sales price of every Hachette e-book we sell. Both Amazon and Hachette would forego all revenue and profit from the sale of every e-book until an agreement is reached.
That means if an e-book sells for $9.99, then the author would receive the full amount. Amazon suggests the deal would represent “many multiples” of what authors would normally receive for the purchase of a book.
Additionally, while Amazon officials said last week that its negotiation tactics – including the removal of preorders and delayed shipping of Hachette books – were in the best interest of consumers, the company appears to be singing a different tune in the letter.
The company proposes returning to normal levels of on-hand print inventory, return to normal pricing in all formats and for books that haven’t gone on sale yet, reinstate pre-orders.