Amazon and Hachette settle their dispute – now what?

It was announced earlier this month that Hachette and Amazon have reached an agreement. The deal allows Hachette to set ebook prices, which means the deal is an agency deal. In the latest edition of The Global Indie Author, I speculated that Hachette and others would likely return to the distributor discount model. This deal proves me wrong. But what is interesting about the deal is that it hints at an outcome I didn’t see coming: Amazon accepting a lower commission. What came out in the United States vs Apple Read More …

Unpacking Amazon’s propaganda

As the dispute between Amazon and Hachette ramped up earlier this year, Amazon tried to exercise some leverage by delaying the sale of Hachette titles as well as increasing print book prices and changing Amazon’s algorithms to Hachette’s disadvantage. Hachette authors took to social media, and Amazon customers, accustomed to finding what they want at prices they like, were similarly annoyed. In an attempt to counter the barrage of bad publicity, on 29 July Amazon posted their version of events on the Kindle Forum. The delivery of the message on Read More …

Agency pricing war of words heats up

A recent news article by paidContent.org reporting on the ongoing Attorney General investigation into Apple and the Big Five publishers’ conspiracy to fix the price of ebooks, as well as an ongoing civil class action suit, suggests a war of leaked words is the latest strategy to force a settlement. However, what is missing from these articles is that the act that triggered agency pricing — the decision by Amazon to sell ebooks at a loss — is also illegal. Called predatory pricing, it is illegal for a retailer to Read More …

Lawsuit and investigations challenge agency pricing

In The Global Indie Author I discuss the history of agency pricing and conclude that in the U.S. a legal challenge to agency pricing is inevitable; it is already under investigation in the UK. Critics maligned this assumption, arguing that what happens in Europe has no bearing on the U.S. This ignores the mechanics of a global economy, and it also ignores how Apple has attempted to circumvent an individual country’s sovereignty to dictate its consumer laws: Apple’s contract forces price parity across international jurisdictions. It comes as no surprise Read More …