Hachette to Amazon: Let’s Rumble

Andrew AlbaneseIn one corner, Amazon, the heavyweight online retailer; in the other corner, Hachette Book Group, parent of numerous leading imprints including Little, Brown and Company and Grand Central Publishing. In the early rounds of the bout, both sides have taken bruising hits. As the latest to cry foul over Amazon’s strong arm business tactics, however, Hachette is earning applause from authors and agents.

“Hachette is negotiating new terms of sale with Amazon, and recently discovered that Amazon was not fulfilling its print orders swiftly—in fact, Hachette claims Amazon has marked its books as ‘out-of-stock,’ or given excessive delivery times to customers,” reports Andrew AlbanesePublishers Weekly senior writer. “In an unusual move Hachette officials have even publicly called out Amazon, something few publishers ever dare to do. And the community, meanwhile, has risen to Hachette’s defense. This week, PW was first to report a letter to Amazon from the Association of Authors’ Representatives, blasting Amazon for putting authors in the middle of a business negotiation.”

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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