Hachette and Amazon End Feud

05-09hachette_full_600Ending the heated and increasingly public standoff that began in May and has captured the attention of the publishing world, Hachette and Amazon finally strike a deal on print and ebooks.

The “multi-year” agreement largely restores the agency pricing model for ebooks, allowing Hachette to set its own prices. Simon & Schuster reached an agreement with Amazon last month that does much the same.

In exchange, Hachette appears to have compromised on a key issue in the dispute, by accepting “financial incentives” to offer its titles at lower prices.

Both sides say they’re satisfied with the agreement.


Related: Amazon and the Future of Publishing–Suddenly (Even) More to Talk About at DBW15

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Analysis: Why Hachette Won and Amazon Lost (Businessweek)
Because “Hachette will control e-book pricing and authors won’t give up any of their current e-book royalties to Amazon.”

More Analysis: Why Amazon Won and Hachette Lost (New Republic)
Because “emerging intact from a battle with a hungry giant still intent on devouring you is not necessarily something to celebrate.”

The Calculus Behind the Compromise (Forbes)
Compromise was something few industry watchers anticipated from the standoff, but the middle-ground–if that’s what it turns out to be–that Amazon and Hachette appear to have found is the product of both parties’ best guesses as to what’s on the horizon for the ebook retail landscape in the months and years ahead. (Here’s looking at you, Apple and Barnes & Noble.)

Authors React to Hachette-Amazon Deal (PW)
The long-running dispute opened new fissures in the publishing world and widened old ones, and the new agreement won’t immediately heal all of them. So perhaps it’s no more surprising to find organizations like the Authors Guild voicing measured approval than it is to find Authors United saying it’s “relieved” but still pushing the Justice Department for an Amazon antitrust investigation.
Related: Atria Publisher Judith Curr Discusses Authors’ Strategic Decision-Making at DBW15

Vook Acquires Enhanced Ebook Publisher (DBW)
Shortly after pushing ahead on the short-form ebook program it acquired from Byliner, Vook buys Coliloquy, a digital publishing start-up specializing in enhanced ebooks and apps.
Related: Hear Directly from Vook Co-Founder Matt Cavnar Live at DBW15

Social E-Reading Platform Glose Launches (TechCrunch)
Glose is both an ebook retailer and an interactive, social e-reading platform that’s striving to be more mobile-friendly than its competitors in both of those spaces.

Hachette Sales Down in Third Quarter (Pub Lunch)
Reporting third quarter earnings, Hachette’s parent company Lagardere notes that “the difficult situation with Amazon” contributed to an 18.5% decline in U.S. sales–one more reason the publisher may have felt increased urgency to strike yesterday’s deal.

Sales Flat at Bertelsmann (Pub Lunch)
For its part, Penguin Random House’s parent company (alongside Pearson), reports sales rose 4.3% in the third quarter of 2014 over last year, but profits dropped as Bertelsmann sold and acquired a number of properties throughout Europe.

Rival Booksellers Unite on E-Tax Reform (PW)
Amazon, Barnes & Noble and independent booksellers join forces to petition Congress to “level the playing field” between online and bricks-and-mortar retailers.


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