Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Amazon, and Small, Independent Publishers

The story of the Bezotion Empire following in the footsteps of Brobdingnag Gates hit the New York Times yesterday.

PARIS — Amazon, the online retailing giant with a fast-rising share of the consumer book market, has adopted the literary equivalent of a nuclear option for rebellious publishers who balk at its demands.

Then the struggle with Hachette broke into public view this month when the publisher’s chief executive, Tim Hely Hutchinson, sent a defiant letter to many of his authors explaining the “oddities” of vanishing buy buttons. The online retailer, he said, was demanding a bigger slice. Publishers traditionally sell books to retailers at a discount off the recommended retail price, but Amazon was demanding more than its existing 50 percent.

“They’re still threatening us and other publishers, but they haven’t flipped the switch yet,” said Angela Hoy, the co-owner of Booklocker.com, a print-on-demand publisher in Bangor, Me., which filed a lawsuit in May seeking an injunction to keep Amazon from imposing BookSurge’s services on publishers.

Read the full article by Doreen Carvajal in the Times here.

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