Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN), Hachette Feud Encouraging Authors to Self-Publish Books?

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The battle between Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Hachette has been continuing for about 6 months now where the eCommerce giant wants to pay less for eBooks which has the attention of the whole publishing industry as the deal between these two would set the guidelines for the other publishers.

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Julia Boorstin of CNBC reported on this and she said that Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) made a bold offer to get authors and public opinion on its site and it proposed that both Hachette and itself should give up 100% revenue to authors during the negotiation period. Amazon has also removed the pre-book option on few of Hachette’s books and has been delaying the shipments recently.

Boorstin said that Hachette turned down the offer and asked Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) to ‘withdraw sanctions’ and they can continue to negotiate as before. The eCommerce giant turned down the offer said that it doesn’t make sense and said that Hachette can actually afford it. Amazon is expected to come on top as it’s the biggest customer to publishers industry. So Hachette would have to adjust here and accept the additional discounts, where the end customers will be happy with the discounted prices.

Rafi Mohammed, the founder of Culture of Profit and Smashwords Founder Mark Corker were on “Bloomberg West” and they discussed the feud between Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Hacette from a business and a publisher’s viewpoint.

Mohammed feels that Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) is the ‘Wal-Mart of the publishing business’ and that gives it an advantage to dictate the price. He said that if even a couple of publishers such as Hachette leave Amazon, it would hurt the stock price of the company as its known to sell all types of books.

“I bet you Amazon would settle very quickly” Mohammed said.

Corker thinks that though the feud is hurting authors as Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) accounts for about 60% – 65% of the ebook business, however the authors should consider diversifying their books to other stores too.

“Hachette wants to control the price of the book to the consumer, so, I am hoping that Hachette holds the line and maintains control over the pricing.” Corker stated about he views the outcome should be.

Both Mohammed and Corker agreed that more number of authors are moving towards self-publishing as going via publisher earns them only about 12% – 15% royalty while self-publishing earns them over 60% which is profitable. At the end of the day, in the eBook business, an author is responsible for publicizing his work.

Disclosure: None

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  1. “Both Mohammed and Corker agreed that more number of authors are moving towards self-publishing as going via publisher earns them only about 12% – 15% royalty while self-publishing earns them over 60% which is profitable.”

    Self-publishing is what Amazon is trying to promote with their Kindle Direct Publishing program, https://kdp.amazon.com/

    The writer maintains control of their book and and receives 70% of the sales price.

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