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Old 05-21-2014, 10:59 AM   #1
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Amazon vs Hachette

http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/0...ype=blogs&_r=0

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jeremygr...with-hachette/

I searched before posting this...it's hard to imagine this isn't already being talked about. But I couldn't find an existing conversation.

Heavy handed, monopolist tactics from Amazon to force concessions from a publisher. And one wonders why the publishers resorted to collusion.
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Old 05-21-2014, 11:18 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by leebase View Post
Heavy handed, monopolist tactics from Amazon to force concessions from a publisher. And one wonders why the publishers resorted to collusion.
No excuse for breaking the law. Technology is moving forward whether publishers like it or not. They'll have to downsize and learn to live with smaller profits. If they can't adapt, then they'll perish.
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Old 05-21-2014, 11:18 AM   #3
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Same crap that always goes on between retailers and publishers when contracts are being renegotiated. It just made the main-stream media this time because AMAZON!!

I'm going to assume you were just as vocally outraged last year when you read about Barnes & Noble using similar "heavy-handed" tactics in an attempt to force concessions from Simon & Schuster?

Yes, it's been discussed. It just didn't have its own thread. Mostly because it's not all that newsworthy. Same old posturing by the side with the least leverage.

And last time I checked, Amazon isn't the only retailer where Hachette books are sold.

Last edited by DiapDealer; 05-21-2014 at 12:06 PM.
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Old 05-21-2014, 11:55 AM   #4
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I also think most serious readers recognize that there's quite a bit of hear-say accusations in there. It may all be true, but Hachette, and Hachette's authors, would stand to benefit by making Amazon look bad and pressuring them to capitulate to a deal in Hachette's favor.

Hatchette also has a reputation for reader-antagonistic decisions (like their stance on DRM, or their subsidiary Orbit's decision to not include their books in the Hugo voting packet this year), so it's really hard to just accept their claims without some serious proof. All the proof offered so far is basically individual experiences lumped together to try to prove some grand scheme.

And some of the claims seem to be wrong, I saw an e-book by Hachette discounted at $1.99 just yesterday. It wasn't a pre-order or recent release either, and yet the Forbes article has a quote by an author claiming that's the only things Amazon is still discounting.

Other claims also fall apart on close study, like the thing with The Janson Option not having the Kindle edition show correctly. I've run into that with books many times, by pretty much every publisher, but in this particular case, if you search, the special five chapter preview seems to be linked to the hardback as a special free edition (shows $0.00 as the Kindle price) while the full Kindle edition is linked to the paperback. That does look like something Hachette themselves has managed to do, probably because of the special preview. Also, there's a third listing of the same book published by Macmillan. It would appear that the situation with that book is quite complicated, and not at all an example of Amazon foul play.

Finally, the shipping delays and low stock makes perfect sense. Amazon is negotiating a new contract, that new contract may lead to lower prices for them, so they're going to buy as little as possible in the interim to keep their costs down. Any retailer would do the same thing in that situation.
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Old 05-21-2014, 12:06 PM   #5
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http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=239575

Also this:
http://nelsonagency.com/the-amazon-hachette-spat/

Quote:

This is yet another moment where big publishing could have chosen to partner with authors and agents by explaining the truth behind Amazon’s muscle flexing.

Instead, Hachette choose to go with “we don’t discuss contract negotiations” tactic, which leaves their authors in the dark, agents like me fuming, and fosters a general atmosphere of distrust that the publisher is not being forthright.
And that is assuming it's all evil Amazon's fault.

Last edited by fjtorres; 05-21-2014 at 12:09 PM.
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Old 05-21-2014, 01:04 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by DiapDealer View Post
Same old posturing by the side with the least leverage.

And last time I checked, Amazon isn't the only retailer where Hachette books are sold.
In the eBook space...isn't Amazon something like 80% marketshare?

Or is this ok because AMAZON
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Old 05-21-2014, 01:27 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by leebase View Post
In the eBook space...isn't Amazon something like 80% marketshare?

Or is this ok because AMAZON
It's ok because it's ok. It has nothing to do with who it is. It shows that Amazon is better at the game than the others.
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Old 05-21-2014, 01:28 PM   #8
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Answer the question posed, @leebase. Don't answer with another question. Were you outraged when B&N drastically reduced the number of titles they were purchasing from S&S in order to force them to accept concessions last year? S&S authors were, afterall. If you weren't, why not? If you were, you already know that Amazon's negotiating techniques (if true) are nothing unique (or particularly heinous).

Besides... the shipping delays, and the not discounting enough that Hachette is claiming is about physical books, not ebooks. The "near-monopoly on ebooks" stance you're taking isn't exactly applicable. Hachette hardbacks can be purchased wherever physical books are sold.

Last edited by DiapDealer; 05-21-2014 at 01:40 PM.
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Old 05-21-2014, 01:42 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by leebase View Post
In the eBook space...isn't Amazon something like 80% marketshare?

Or is this ok because AMAZON
There you go Lee. Fixed it for you...
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Old 05-21-2014, 02:20 PM   #10
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Market power makes all the difference. So no, I'm not as upset when someone with 20% of the market acts shitty as I am concerned when a corporation with 80% of the power does.

That's why I'm more concerned about Microsoft's practices with Windows than I am Apple's with the Mac. But I'm more concerned with Google's practices with search than I am Microsoft's practices with Bing.

I'm not concerned about what Amazon does with it's kindle hardware, it's new tv streaming box or it's forthcoming phone. How Amazon wield's it's near monopoly power with ebooks is a big concern...far more than Apple.

What Apple does with iTunes is of far more concern to me than what Amazon or Wallmart does with their music sales.

Perhaps you see the pattern. Market forces can only be market forces with competition. Sometimes through fair means or not, a company gets such a large percentage of a given market that all by themselves, they can act anti-competively and have to be treated more strictly in THAT given market.
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Old 05-21-2014, 02:46 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by leebase View Post
How Amazon wield's it's near monopoly power with ebooks is a big concern...far more than Apple.
Then you clearly have nothing to worry about. The heavy-handed tactics (attributed to Amazon by Hachette and some of its authors) have mainly to do with discouraging the purchase of physical books.

Last edited by DiapDealer; 05-21-2014 at 02:53 PM.
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Old 05-21-2014, 02:54 PM   #12
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Then you clearly have nothing to worry about. The heavy-handed tactics (attributed to Amazon by Hachette and some of its authors) have mainly to do with discouraging the purchase of physical books.
...where they are the ones with 20%.
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Old 05-22-2014, 02:45 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leebase View Post
Market power makes all the difference. So no, I'm not as upset when someone with 20% of the market acts shitty as I am concerned when a corporation with 80% of the power does.

That's why I'm more concerned about Microsoft's practices with Windows than I am Apple's with the Mac. But I'm more concerned with Google's practices with search than I am Microsoft's practices with Bing.

I'm not concerned about what Amazon does with it's kindle hardware, it's new tv streaming box or it's forthcoming phone. How Amazon wield's it's near monopoly power with ebooks is a big concern...far more than Apple.

What Apple does with iTunes is of far more concern to me than what Amazon or Wallmart does with their music sales.

Perhaps you see the pattern. Market forces can only be market forces with competition. Sometimes through fair means or not, a company gets such a large percentage of a given market that all by themselves, they can act anti-competively and have to be treated more strictly in THAT given market.

If they really want to compete and take some control, Hachette (and others) should have a robust website that sells ebooks from the publisher, direct. Start building your own leverage.

They continue to rely on old models. It's important to leverage partners, but most of these publishers aren't investing in themselves and their own future.
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Old 05-22-2014, 03:19 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by BearMountainBooks View Post
If they really want to compete and take some control, Hachette (and others) should have a robust website that sells ebooks from the publisher, direct. Start building your own leverage.

They continue to rely on old models. It's important to leverage partners, but most of these publishers aren't investing in themselves and their own future.
It seems like it's too late for that to me. Who knows how long they would continue to sell ebooks. I wouldn't want to take a chance they would shut down and leave me without my books if they decided it wasn't working out. I always download my purchases and disinfect anyway so that wouldn't affect me directly anyway. I also don't know if they would sell at a good price either.
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Old 05-22-2014, 03:30 PM   #15
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If they really want to compete and take some control, Hachette (and others) should have a robust website that sells ebooks from the publisher, direct. Start building your own leverage.
They could all get together and create a Big 5 Bookstore with set prices

Then they would halt all wholesale sales and force all consumers to buy only from the B5B
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