Amazon publishes Hachette CEO's email address in pricing spat

Aug 09, 2014
A Kindle reading device is seen at a press conference on September 6, 2012 in Santa Monica, California

Amazon revealed Saturday the email address of the American head of publishing group Hachette, urging readers to pressure him in writing to end the two groups' simmering dispute over book pricing.

The move came after more than 900 signed a letter urging the US online giant Amazon to end its battle with Hachette.

"We will never give up our fight for reasonable e-book prices. We know making more affordable is good for book culture," a letter posted by Amazon on read.

"We'd like your help. Please email Hachette and copy us."

In addition to providing the of Hachette Book Group CEO Michael Pietsch, the letter also listed talking points for readers to include in their emails to him.

The American online retailer even suggests accusing Pietsch of "illegal collusion."

"Please stop working so hard to overcharge for e-books. They can and should be less expensive," given the lack of printing, stocking and shipping costs for e-books, the Amazon letter added in its talking points.

Amazon says it wants to set a $9.99 price for most e-books, compared to $12.99 to $19.99 currently.

Amazon and Hachette have been locked in tense negotiations in the United States in recent months. In order to pressure the editor, the online retailers has reduced its Hachette stock and stopped taking pre-orders for the authors it edits.

Amazon has drawn fire for its tactics that include discouraging customers from buying books by Hachette authors and suggesting that readers might enjoy a book from another writer instead.

Amazon last month attempted to shift the blame to Hachette, saying the publisher is opposing lower e-book prices.

Amazon said its proposal to Hachette is to give 35 percent of e-book revenue to authors, another 35 percent to the publisher and then keep the remaining 30 percent as its share.

Explore further: Over 900 authors join effort to press Amazon on Hachette

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2 / 5 (1) Aug 10, 2014
Next? Hachette publishes Jeff Bezos' personal cell phone number?

I'm touched at Amazon's concern for our pocketbooks. With that in mind, how do they feel about First Sale? Maybe I've missed it, but I don't see much of a marketplace for second hand Amazon e-books.
4 / 5 (1) Aug 11, 2014
I already pay about that $10 price, or less for ebooks on B&N. All you have to do is wait a few months - just like I used to do for the paperback to come out. If I can, I avoid Amazon anyway, so I don't have a dog in this fight - but I notice it's pretty nasty, and mud is sticking to all parties.
not rated yet Aug 11, 2014
Publishers are trying to protect a business model that has no place in the world today. Amazon is trying to make money, not making sure their customers have cheap books.

Most authors will only receive a small proportion of the money their publishers bring in from sales. When the only way to publish a book was through a traditional publisher this worked. Now an author can publish themselves and the actual cost of publishing an ebook is negligible, compared to a paper book. A situation that publishers and big name authors must fight to protect their profits.

Replacing unfair treatment of authors by publishers with Amazon, or another huge retailer, doesn't help those that actually create the content or those that consume that content.