Report: Amazon’s Demands in Hachette Negotiation

Pre-order buy buttons, book recommendations and a paid-for employee specifically to handle Hachette are some of the things Amazon is reportedly asking to be funded in its negotiation with book publisher Hachette.

The report comes from The New York Times in an article about local bookstores taking advantage of the Amazon-Hachette dispute, citing an unnamed source:

I spoke to someone involved on the Hachette side of the negotiations, who is under orders not to discuss them and asked not to be named. This person said that Amazon has been demanding payments for a range of services, including the pre-order button, personalized recommendations and a dedicated employee at Amazon for Hachette books. This is similar to so-called co-op arrangements with traditional retailers, like paying Barnes & Noble for placing a book in the front of the store.

Amazon “is very inventive about what we’d call standard service,” this person said. “They’re teasing out all these layers and saying, ‘If you want that service, you’ll have to pay for it.’ In the end, it’s very hard to know what you’d be paying. Hachette has refused, and so bit by bit, they’ve been taking away these services, like the pre-order button, to teach Hachette a lesson.”

The points of contention in the Amazon-Hachette contract negotiations have not been confirmed by either Amazon or Hachette. But there have been multiple media reports that the two main issues are control over the pricing of ebooks and the amount Hachette will have to pay for “co-op” or, as the New York Times article explains, “arrangements with traditional retailers…for placing a book in the front of the store.”

Neither Amazon nor Hachette has returned Digital Book World’s request for comment on these specifics.

Learn more about Amazon and the future of bookselling at an upcoming FREE Digital Book World webcast on the topic on July 9. DBW brings in reporters from The New York Times and GigaOm to discuss. 

One thought on “Report: Amazon’s Demands in Hachette Negotiation

  1. Theresa M. Moore

    These are exactly the same kind of shenanigans I experienced when I published my ebooks to Amazon’s KDP, without having to sign the dotted line. The user contract called for me to accept whatever Amazon threw at me, including having to accede to its frequent use of my titles to lure in more Kindle customers, without any consideration to me as the originator of content. Recently, when Nook Press took over PubIt, I encountered the same draconian demands. You want my advice? Don’t deal with Amazon. Then you won’t have to negotiate unfavorable terms to begin with. It’s a case of the tail wagging the dog. Amazon thinks that it can do this because it is (ahem) Amazon. Teach it the difference by not posting your books on Amazon and giving Barnes & Noble and other retailers the advantage for a change.

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