The Book Fight of the Century

Andrew AlbaneseIn one corner: the scrappy contender whose strongest punch is a blow to his opponent’s appetite for power and profit. And in the other corner: the towering heavyweight champion who wants to pound the contender’s prices to the mat.

“I think these fighters are dancing around the ring right now,” says Andrew AlbanesePublishers Weekly senior writer, referring to Amazon and Hachette Book Group, now locked in a slugfest over e-book pricing. “That strategy actually benefits Amazon because – to torture the metaphor further – Amazon is the undisputed heavyweight champion. Hachette represents only a tiny amount of Amazon’s $70 billion revenue, while Amazon represents a third or more of Hachette’s revenue.

“Even if Michael Pietsch and Hachette do land a jab or two, I don’t think the publisher has the punching power to win this fight,” Albanese tells CCC’s Chris Kenneally.

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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