11/13 – Wall Street Journal – Amazon, Hachette End Publishing Dispute – After an extended, public dispute, Amazon and the publisher Hachette have a multi-year agreement.
Terms are vaguely hinted at: Hachette will set retail prices of their books with Amazon giving higher payouts for lower prices. Will go into effect in 2015 but that should resolve the spat in advance of the 2014 Christmas shopping season. Both of them are highly motivated to move tons of product in the next six weeks.
Article sites a June 2014 survey which suggests Amazon sells 40% of new books, 62% of all print books sold online, and has a whopping 64% of e-book sales.
The details are not visible, so that both parties can claim they won. Here’s what I picture as the victory claims being made in private:
- Hachette can loudly trumpet they have successfully protected their bottom line and the royalties of their few, long-established, best-seller, top-of-the-line, millionaire authors,
- Amazon can trumpet they have protected the millions of people who pay for books and actually read them.
Yeah, yeah, you can tell whose side I’m on as an avid reader and author with microscopically small sales. I’m rather biased on the presenting issue.
On the other hand…
The trend is for $15 or $17 e-books. At those price points I will be buying less e-books to give them a try that I would at $9.99 or $7 or $5.
I have several books purchased at the $3 to $6 range with the idea I’ll read them when the mood strikes. I have bought a lot of books at $9.99 and abandoned them because I didn’t really like them. I am not taking as many chances at $15. There are several specific books on my wish list that I might enjoy, but at $19 for an e-book, they will be sitting on my wish list for a loooong time.