Amazon ends Hachette feud. Deal called 'great news for writers.'

Amazon and Hachette Book Group resolved one of publishing's nastiest, most high-profile conflicts Thursday, announcing a multi-year agreement that takes effect early next year. Amazon and Hachette provided few details on the agreement.

Amazon.com/AP/File
Amazon's Kindle e-reader next to a stack of books. Amazon has ended its longstanding feud with Hachette Books and reached a mutli-year deal, the companies announced Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014.

One of publishing's nastiest, most high-profile conflicts, the months-long standoff between Amazon.com and Hachette Book Group, is ending.

Amazon and Hachette announced a multiyear agreement Thursday. With e-book revenues reportedly the key issue, Amazon had removed pre-order tags for Hachette books, reduced discounts and slowed deliveries. Those restrictions are being lifted immediately, according to the announcement.

"This is great news for writers. The new agreement will benefit Hachette authors for years to come. It gives Hachette enormous marketing capability with one of our most important bookselling partners," Hachette CEO Michael Pietsch said in a statement.

"We are pleased with this new agreement as it includes specific financial incentives for Hachette to deliver lower prices, which we believe will be a great win for readers and authors alike," said David Naggar, vice president for Kindle, Amazon's e-book store and device.

The agreement takes effect early next year.

The Amazon-Hachette dispute had dominated publishing headlines and conversations for much of the year. James Patterson, John Green and hundreds of authors had condemned Amazon's actions, and Stephen Colbert had mocked the online retailer. Meanwhile, Hugh Howey, J.A. Konrath and other writers published by Amazon had blamed Hachette and praised Amazon for keeping prices low and allowing authors unhappy with traditional publishers to release their work elsewhere.

Neither side had seemed to benefit. Hachette sales on Amazon.com, the country's biggest bookseller, had dropped sharply.Amazon, meanwhile, issued a disappointing earnings report last month, although the impact of Hachette books was unclear.

Hachette, whose authors include Patterson and Donna Tartt, was among five publishers sued in 2012 by the U.S. Justice Department for allegedly fixing e-book prices. The publishers, who had worried that Amazon was charging too little for e-books, settled and were required to negotiate new deals with Amazon and other retailers.

Under the new agreement, Hachette set prices for e-books, "and will also benefit from better terms when it delivers lower prices for readers."

Amazon last month reached a multiyear deal with Simon & Schuster, another publisher that was sued in 2012 and eventually settled.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

QR Code to Amazon ends Hachette feud. Deal called 'great news for writers.'
Read this article in
https://www.csmonitor.com/Business/Latest-News-Wires/2014/1113/Amazon-ends-Hachette-feud.-Deal-called-great-news-for-writers.
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today
https://www.csmonitor.com/subscribe