HarperCollins Could Remove all of its Books From Amazon

Here we go again.

Everyone knows about the Amazon/Hachette dispute from last year in which it appeared the Big Five publisher was standing up to the internet giant. But the dispute was ultimately resolved when the sides reached a new agreement. One that Simon & Schuster and Macmillan also agreed to. But now HarperCollins comes along and thinks they’re different from everyone else.

In what world would it be a good idea to remove all of their books from Amazon? Maybe the CEO of Hachette left his position there and made the move to HarperCollins? Or maybe there are just some idiots running one of the biggest publishers in America who actually think this is a good business move. I have no idea.

Word on the street is that HarperCollins would try sending its readers to its own website that was made to decrease its dependency on Amazon. But how many people are buying books directly from publishers? I’m not and I don’t think I know anyone who does.

I don’t see this ever actually happening, but who knows? Crazier things have happened.

On this day in 2014 I published Coming up With the Perfect Title for Your Books is…Nearly Impossible.


Hey look, Amazon Didn’t Take Over the Publishing World

Just yesterday it was confirmed that the dispute between Amazon and Hachette over e-book pricing has been resolved. Of course. I mean, all that crap about this author or that author calling out Amazon over their practices and signing letters to Jeff Bezos did absolutely nothing for the actual deal. What made the two sides come to a deal is the fact that this was never going to go on during the holiday season. Period. And if you think otherwise, you’re an idiot.

Amazon just recently inked a deal with fellow Big Five publisher Simon and Schuster. Which should have caused you to ask yourself two questions. How come they can come to a deal with Amazon and Hachette can’t? And then also, the terms of this agreement can’t be too much different from what Amazon was offering Hachette, right? Unfortunately the terms of the agreements have not been released. But Amazon made it a point in both cases to state that the publisher has a financial incentive to lower e-book prices. I would not be surprised if the deals are exactly the same or very similar.

So now everyone can stop acting like they hate Amazon when you know behind your computer screen or smartphone you love them. Why? Cheaper books. And if you buy dozens a year there really is no reason to pay full price elsewhere. Unless you just like wasting money. Then go right ahead.

Amazon v Hachette: Part II

Okay guys, this is going to be a rather short post because the a/c has not worked in my house for more than 24 hours and we found out that the unit can’t be fixed. So now we’re waiting for a new one. But sitting at the computer is making me sweat, so you’re getting a short post. It was right around 90 degrees in the house all night. Ugh.

So you all should know a little about the Amazon v Hachette dispute. Though it can’t be confirmed, the rumor is that the dispute is over how ebook prices will be split between the two. Typically retailers will take 30% of the list price, but word has it that Amazon wants more. That’s what we believe is at the heart of the dispute. As a result, Amazon has delayed the shipping of Hachette books and halted preorders.

But that’s not what I’m here to talk about. I already wrote about that here. Recently Amazon offered to fund an author pool in conjunction with Hachette so that all affected authors would receive the full price of their books sold while negotiations are ongoing. But Hachette declined.

So before you go thinking Amazon is this evil empire trying to take over the universe, why not first ask the question of whether Hachette is really doing all this for their authors. I’m not so sure.

That’s all. I’m so hot I’m going to melt before this even publishes.

Hachette v. Amazon: You’re not going to like my thoughts

ImagePhoto Credit: Third Place Books

Before I begin, there are two posts that I’ve written in the past that I suggest you read. They aren’t directly related to today’s post, but they may give you an idea about what my thoughts will be today.

Print vs. E-book: Which side are you on?

Is Amazon Good for Books?

Read them? Great. Didn’t? Perfectly fine.

Now let’s begin. If you keep up with book or publishing news at all, then you should already know about the ongoing dispute between Hachette and Amazon. The very basic premise is that they are in the midst of contract negotiations and both sides appear to be waiting for the other side to give in to their terms. But it’s not happening. And Amazon is taking matters into their own hands. The delivery of Hachette books to customers is being delayed by weeks, the pre-order feature of future releases is no longer available, and the discounts on the books are gone.

I’ve read countless articles and blog posts attacking Amazon and standing with Hachette for what everyone claims is right. Well, this will be the first one I read in which someone stands with Amazon.

I’ve been a fan of Amazon for every one of the four years that I’ve used the site. I have a Prime membership that is always offering me new perks at no additional cost. And as a result, I’m a member of the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. Which allows me to borrow a book for free once a month.

Why I stand with Amazon

It is quite simple. Everyone wants to look at this from the author’s perspective. Or from that of a publisher. Are you a Hachette author? Or are you one of the Big Five publishers in America? The chance is there, but the answer to both questions is likely no. One more question, will you ever be able to say yes to either of those previous questions. Again, no. So all this talk about author royalties and the death of another publisher and Amazon’s slow takeover of the publishing industry makes me angry. You should be looking at the dispute from the perspective of the consumer, because that’s all you are. But no, you’re looking at it from a perspective you’ll never truly know. (I realize that there are plenty of Hachette authors out there looking at this dispute closely, but they aren’t writing the article after article about it. James Patterson wrote a couple of paragraphs.)

The thing is that every other major publisher has a contract with Amazon. Simon and Schuster, yes. Penguin Random House, yes. And so do the others. You’re telling me that Amazon’s demand for a greater percentage of the e-book split is not something other book retailers have considered in the past or perhaps bargained for. (Because that’s what appears to be at the bottom of the whole dispute.) According to an article I’m reading right now as I write this, publishers make 75% of the price of an e-book. Read that number again. That’s the norm. The article is quick to point out that one cannot defend that publishers make that percentage or that Amazon up its split, but everyone else has already taken their sides, so I will as well.

I definitely understand why Hachette is taking a stand, but they cannot win. Amazon has no reason to give in. Remember folks, 30% of printed books and upwards of 60% of e-books are sold on Amazon. And not to mention the fact that less than 10% of all of the site’s revenue comes from the sale of books. So don’t go writing that Amazon is doing this strictly because of their bottom line, because all that tells me is that you don’t know what you’re talking about. Their bottom line is what it is because they’re constantly developing new services for Prime members and all of the site’s users. FireTV. New Kindle devices. Etc.

So I say to Hachette to do whatever you feel you have to, but when you realize that will fail, well, then go accept Amazon’s terms and get on with life. Because all the author support in the world means nothing when they have no seat at the negotiating table. And everyone keeping up with the story knows a deal will ultimately be signed, regardless of who “wins.”

I’m ready for no one to agree with me in the comments.