Final score: Amazon 63, Hachette 56
November 17, 2014
Amazon and Hachette have come to an agreement! The Earth has stopped shaking because the corporate titans have stopped fighting.
The terms of this deal will come out eventually, and it is likely that Hachette will have terms similar to other publishers that have deals with Amazon for e-books. Amazon will give them juicy financial incentives to price them in a certain range, but will let the publisher choose whatever price they want. Just like everyone else, including indies.
And indie author and industry watcher/analyst Hugh Howey points out that Hachette books will still take 2-3 weeks to be delivered by Amazon. Why? Because, most likely, Hachette takes 2-3 weeks to ship its books to a distributor. So, if true, all that spittle-flicking about Amazon hurting Hachette authors because it deliberately slowed shipments? Haha, nope. That’s just how fast Hachette is when it ships to any book retailer. Note the funny comment in Hugh’s post from author Laura Resnick about how slow Hachette ships checks to authors; it’s a lot slower than 2-3 weeks.
Who won? Well, clearly they both won to some extent; the deal got done. But I’m giving Amazon an extra touchdown because it didn’t try to lamely undermine the negotiations by unleashing a PR blitz against Hachette with ridiculous claims about how evil it was. Hachette did to that. I expect Stephen Colbert will apologize at any moment for attacking Amazon unfairly. Riiiight.
Who lost? All the people who launched spittle into the introweebs about how literature was under attack, censorship was upon us, and civil society was hanging in the blah, blah, blah. They look a little foolish right now.