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Posts tagged Amazon

Edward Robertson spots fresh irony in Hachette counter-claims
August 12, 2014 | 12:25 pm

Science fiction and fantasy author Edward W. Robertson has added a new insight to the post mortem on Hachette's response to Amazon's open letter. And it's one more that Hachette probably wishes would go away. As well as pointing out, as Chris Meadows has already noted, that Hachette CEO Michael Pietsch either doesn't know the history of his own industry, or is openly lying to the public about it, Robertson emphasizes that the first paperback houses were trying to do an Amazon on the publishing industry of their time. "Paperback rights were purchased by competing publishers who were able to sell...

Terms of Amazon dispute with Disney seem oddly familiar
August 12, 2014 | 6:16 am

disneypicturesA Wall Street Journal article (if it’s paywalled, Google the headline to read it) delves into the sources of the pre-order blocking matter between Amazon and Disney…and if you could summarize it with a single phrase, it would be “the shoe’s on the other foot.” It has some commonalities with the Hachette dispute, but some important differences, too. According to the familiar “person with knowledge of the matter” (he sure gets around, doesn’t he?) the dispute partly concerns promotion and product placement on Amazon’s web site (the element it has in common with the Hachette negotiation, given some of...

Amazon’s e-book position ‘weak’ but customer focus too strong for disruption
August 11, 2014 | 4:35 am

Here’s a couple of interesting takes on the Amazon/Hachette affair. It’s kind of refreshing, actually, after all this back and forth he-said/she-said of authors in favor of Amazon or Hachette and Amazon and Hachette themselves to look at what more neutral parties are saying. For starters, here’s Jake Kerr on Medium.com suggesting that Amazon is fighting so hard for lower prices on e-books because, far from being the monopolistic behemoth others accuse it of, its position in the e-book trade is actually fairly weak. This seems a little counterintuitive at first, but Kerr points out that e-book stores have...

Hachette responds to Amazon advocates’ email on pricing its e-books
August 11, 2014 | 1:24 am

Digital Book World is carrying the response Hachette CEO Michael Pietsch is sending to those people who write him at Amazon’s behest. Since I posted the Amazon letter in full, it seems only fair to do the same for this. Pietsch (or whoever wrote the response for him) maintains that “Hachette sets prices for our books entirely on our own, not in collusion with anyone” (technically true, I suppose, since he said books, not e-books). He also maintains that the vast majority of Hachette’s titles are priced at or below $9.99, that the ones that cost more are nonetheless...

Weekend Roundup: More power to Amazon good for books? Digital info after you die
August 10, 2014 | 10:51 am

legalAfter the Bell Tolls for Thee---What Happens After You Die? (Dear Author) I’ll start this post off with a disclaimer: I am not a lawyer. I strongly advise you to consult a lawyer who specializes in wills and trusts so that when you do shuffle off your mortal coil (in the way, way future) your descendents think of you fondly. *** The Best Thing for Books is More Power to Amazon (Yahoo Finance) Amazon used to set the prices people paid for ebooks, but, thanks to an illegal price fixing conspiracy, they lost most of that power to publishers. Almost everyone -- probably even...

Amazon stops taking pre-orders for Disney movies
August 10, 2014 | 3:25 am

Guardians-of-the-Galaxy-poster-21Amazon’s been busy lately. Folks might remember that Amazon stopped taking pre-orders for Warner DVD/Blu-ray titles for a while, including The LEGO Movie, during a contract dispute similar to the contract negotiation it is undergoing with Hachette. (Unlike Hachette’s, said dispute was resolved in a matter of weeks.) Well, now it’s Disney’s turn to face the Wrath of ‘Zon. Home Media Magazine reports that forthcoming Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment titles, including Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Maleficent, and Guardians of the Galaxy, have seen their pre-order buttons removed, replaced with “Sign up to be notified when this item...

Eoin Purcell Amazon Publishing UK appointment already sees casualty of Amazon/Hachette spat?
August 9, 2014 | 2:25 pm

The news, first broached by The Bookseller, that Eoin Purcell, veteran Irish publisher and mainstay of the publishing and digital change debate, has been appointed as leader of the Amazon Publishing team in London, has been greeted with unexpected applause in some quarters - and with some hand-wringing. Porter Anderson, another name not exactly unknown in modern publishing circles, says in his thought piece "Corporate Blues: Right Man, Right Job, Lost Voice," that: "I’m both heartened and saddened by this news." Anderson writes in great depth about both the positive and negative sides of this announcement, but leading on the positive,...

Amazon asks Kindle Direct authors and readers to lobby Hachette in contract negotiation
August 9, 2014 | 3:37 am

Amazon’s PR push in the Hachette negotiation seems to have moved beyond simply posting announcements to forums. I just had a rather lengthy email show up in my inbox from “Kindle Direct Publishing,” which begins with the salutation “Dear KDP Author.” I’m not sure if I received it because I created a KDP account at some point while looking into it, or as a member of the press. Either way, I’m reproducing the letter here in full. The letter essentially expands upon Amazon’s recent forum post about the situation, laying out Amazon’s belief that Hachette wants to charge too...

Rich boys club buys space to say Amazon is bad
August 8, 2014 | 4:25 pm

The open letter against Amazon from Authors United, the group steered by founding author Douglas Preston, seems to be getting a lot of column inches. And just to make sure, Authors United is buying its own. That is, a full-page ad in the Sunday edition of the New York Times to get the message across. Yes, authors are paying publishers (in this case, a newspaper publisher) to print their words - but no one seems to be crying "vanity press" this time round. (Well, maybe "vanity," but of that, see more below...) Evidently the grating irony of authors - those proverbial...

Hachette tried to toss indies out with the trash in Perseus distro deal
August 8, 2014 | 10:25 am

Perseus GroupNick Mamatas was kind enough to tip me off to a fascinating writeup by Dennis Johnson, co-founder of Brooklyn indie publishing stalwart Melville House, on a story that knocks another hole in Hachette's credibility as the self-styled defender of cultural and literary values against the encroachment of Amazon. As Johnson tells it, Hachette Book Group's just-collapsed deal to buy Perseus Books Group, long owned by private equity fund (not hedge fund as Johnson describes it) Perseus LLC, would have involved jettisoning the cluster of often highly-regarded indie publishers that it aimed to sell with the acquisition's distribution business, to U.S. distributor...

Hachette fails to bulk up against Amazon as Perseus deal collapses
August 8, 2014 | 10:00 am

Oops, Hachette. You just left an awful lot of journos with egg on their faces. All those columnists who wrote up long articles on how your purchase of Perseus Books Group was going to underpin your offensive against Amazon are now having to rewind and, at best, write laments on how you've been left defenseless to carry on your crusade against the Bezos dragon. The Wall Street Journal gets that dig in in the second para of its coverage. Yes, you said, "despite great effort from all three parties, we could not reach agreement on all of the issues necessary to close...

Barnes & Noble and Google – an Amazon-beating combo?
August 7, 2014 | 6:31 pm

A widely quoted report in the New York Times details a partnership between Barnes & Noble and Google to create a same-day book delivery service utilizing Google Shopping Express. According to the report, "book buyers in Manhattan, West Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area will be able to get same-day deliveries from local Barnes & Noble stores through Google Shopping Express." Barnes & Noble is already up on the icon panel of Google Shopping Express partners. With the Amazon/Hachette spat still unresolved, the NYT unsurprisingly chooses to put an anti-Amazon spin on this news, claiming that "Amazon poses a...