Amazon V. Books, Round 2

Andrew AlbaneseIn one corner, the publisher – a world champion, and over nearly two centuries of existence, the original house for Mark Twain, the Bronte Sisters, and Agatha Christie, among many others. In the other corner, the online Leviathan that dominates the digital environment.

This week, Amazon returned to the ring to fight over business terms with a publishers – but in 2015, the opponent is HarperCollins, not Hachette as in last summer’s bout.

“I think HarperCollins is in a position to be made an example of by Amazon. First, it is experimenting with direct to consumer sales and subscription, and perhaps Harper believes it has a little more leverage in these talks,” suggests Andrew Albanese, Publishers Weekly senior writer.  “More pointedly, Harper has the big book of the year coming out: Harper Lee’s Go Set A Watchman. Whether that is leverage for one side or another, I can’t say, but just imagine if Amazon decided to mess with that publication.”

Every Friday, CCC’s “Beyond the Book” speaks with the editors and reporters of “Publishers Weekly” for an early look at the news that publishers, editors, authors, agents and librarians will be talking about when they return to work on Monday.

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