Thursday, May 29, 2014

Hachette Answers; Will Discuss "Compensating for the Damage" of Amazon's "Demand" After Dispute Is Settled

Publishers Lunch

On Wednesday morning, Hachette Book Group issued another statement in reply to Amazon's Tuesday night post: "It is good to see Amazon acknowledge that its business decisions significantly affect authors' lives," they open. "For reasons of their own, Amazon has limited its customers' ability to buy more than 5,000 Hachette titles."

As for Amazon's public offer to share the acknowledged impact on authors, HBG says: "Once we have agreement, we will be happy to discuss with Amazon its ideas about compensating authors for the damage its demand for improved terms may have done them, and to pass along any payments it considers appropriate."

In the meantime, "We will spare no effort to resume normal business relations with Amazon—which has been a great partner for years—but under terms that value appropriately for the years ahead the author's unique role in creating books, and the publisher's role in editing, marketing, and distributing them, at the same time that it recognizes Amazon's importance as a retailer and innovator."
They add: "Authors, with whom we at Hachette have been partners for nearly two centuries, engage in a complex and difficult mission to communicate with readers. In addition to royalties, they are concerned with audience, career, culture, education, art, entertainment, and connection. By preventing its customers from connecting with these authors' books, Amazon indicates that it considers books to be like any other consumer good. They are not."

The statement closes: "We are extremely grateful for the spontaneous outpouring of support we have received both privately and publicly from authors and agents. We will continue to communicate with them promptly as this situation develops."

PW reports:

Hachette Says Amazon Needs to 'Value Appropriately' Authors, Publishers
Amazon has finally broken its silence over the dispute with Hachette, saying that while the two sides are working hard, the company is “not optimistic [the issue] will be resolved soon.” Responding to Amazon, Hachette said it will continue doing business with Amazon only "under terms that value appropriately for the years ahead" the role of the author and the publisher in "creating books." more »

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