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Write and publish with love and fury.

Amazon Publishes Hachette CEO’s Email in Latest Salvo Over E-Book Pricing

I think the letter many of us received was Amazon’s first misstep in its battle with Hachette. As an independent writer, I benefit from Hachette’s inflated prices because I’m the less expensive (but damned entertaining and adorable) alternative. The outcome will be determined at the negotiation table, not in the press. Most book buyers are unaware of this drama between titans and, on the Hachette side of the debate, the NYT ad is also an irrelevant waste of money. I suspect Amazon will use tougher tactics soon, if only to get Hachette to the table. Hachette is without a distribution contract, so when Amazon decides to clamp down, Hachette will long for the days when they could complain their authors no longer had pre-order buttons. These will be the good times.


Updated at 2:05 p.m.

In its latest move in an escalating battle over e-book pricing, Amazon attacked book publisher Hachette in a strongly-worded letter Saturday which includes the Hachette CEO’s email address and encourages authors to contact him directly.

Amazon and Hachette have been locked in a duel over the pricing of e-books. Amazon argues their price should be lower, while Hachette’s holding out for higher prices. Hachette’s camp has also accused Amazon of making it more difficult for customers to find and buy books from publishers with which Amazon is negotiating new terms.

In its letter, the Seattle-based online retailer reiterated its case for lower e-book pricing, saying that because of the absence of shipping, handling and printing costs, “e-books can and should be less expensive.” On top of that, Amazon has argued that e-books are just 1% of the revenue of Hachette’s parent company, and that the company…

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Filed under: publishing

2 Responses

  1. MishaBurnett says:

    I don’t think the e-mail was a misstep, actually. I don’t think the purpose of the e-mail was to get anyone to write to Hatchette I think it was to get their own side of the story out there, and the call to action was a hook to get people to talk about the letter and thereby spread the content.

    The reports filtering out into the media are so profoundly one-sided that Amazon had to do something controversial in order to get coverage of their side of the dispute.

  2. As a Amazon customer I found the email interesting. As an indie writer, I found the strategy brilliant. All those people who do love KDP and other low price books will likely write in. Let’s see what happens next!

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