Amazon to Publishers – Spread the Wealth

Andrew AlbaneseWe’re fighting for you. That’s what Amazon told authors this week as the public battle between the retail giant and Hachette Book Group continued.

In a post on Amazon’s Kindle Forums, the Seattle company says consumers should pay less for e-books, and authors deserve a more sizable cut of the 70% of each sale that is currently paid out to publishers. Is this how Jeff Bezos really feels, or is it just another ploy to drive a wedge between traditional publishers and their authors?

“The real news here was Amazon basically calling out Hachette, and by extension, all of the major publishers, for their low e-book royalties,” says Andrew Albanese, Publishers Weekly senior writer.

“In the post, Amazon said it was perfectly happy with the 30% agency cut it had been getting—and indeed, was forced to get, they noted, when the publishers illegally colluded—note the jab there. But the pricing was the issue,” Albanese continues. “But they also said they have proposed that authors and publishers should split the remaining 70%. As our listeners will know, right now, authors generally get 25% of the publishers’ 70% of e-book sales.”

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