In an ongoing dispute with Hachette, Amazon looked to have authors under the publishing group keep 100 percent of whatever revenue is gained from e-book sales. Hachette allowed the offer to drop and Amazon isn’t impressed by the publisher’s statement about the offer.
The crux of the dispute is Amazon’s pricing on e-books from Hachette Book Group authors. There is also some unsavory practices in delaying delivery and removing the option to pre-order on some titles.
According to Reuters, Amazon said that an attempt was made to carve out new terms at the beginning of the year, but there was no communication between the two companies until it started cutting back print inventory and website discounts.
Amazon noted that Hachette belonged to a multi-billion “global conglomerate” so the terms of a new agreement wouldn’t result in the publisher taking a hit it couldn’t withstand. The company believes that Hachette is trying to use contracted publishers for leverage to get a better offer. They maintain that their offer is worth pursuing.
If Hachette agree to Amazon’s offer, the online retailer would agree to restore all of the essentials that would ensure profitability for the authors and the publishing group. These include normal pricing for all formats, pre-order options for upcoming books, and normal levels for print inventory.
Amazon makes up roughly 60 percent of Hachette’s digital revenue. While Amazon’s approach has soured the publisher and a number of authors, sitting on offers and waiting for Amazon to do better will keep this at a stalemate—especially when Amazon controls the bulk of the digital marketplace.