Saturday, June 28, 2008

Amazon dispute: new warehouse but 'battle of buttons' rages
Roger Tagholm, writing in PN Online assesses the positions and, below, hears from independents

Amazon's giant new warehouse in Swansea may be the size of 10 football pitches, but bulk stock of various best-selling Hachette group titles are still not to be found inside as the retailer's dispute with the publisher continues.

As PN went to press, 'Buy New' buttons for Kate Mosse's Labyrinth (Orion), Stephen King's Duma Key (Hodder), James Patterson's The 6th Target (Headline) and Michael Connelly's The Overlook (Orion) had still not been reinstated, more than a month after they were first removed. However, the 'Buy New' button for Richard & Judy pick No Time for Goodbye (Orion) had reappeared, demonstrating, perhaps, that Hachette has the upper hand: this title is too important to be left to Amazon Marketplace.
Among fellow publishers and agents there is increasing sympathy for Hachette's stance. “If anything, the support has strengthened,” said LAW's Philippa Milnes-Smith, President of the Association of Authors' Agents. “We understand the pressures being brought to bear on publishers by retailers, and it's good to see someone standing up to them.”

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