If you’ve been following the soap opera of Amazon vs Hachette and vice versa, you know that it’s created quite the rift between traditionally published authors (some of whom are also betrothed, contractually, to Hachette) and independently published authors. Barbs have been thrown between author groups, but for the most part, the actual parties involved have been cautious in their public declarations. Amazon released its most recent statement yesterday, in the form of a letter that tries to explain the benefit of lower ebook pricing to all parties involved.
There are two parts of this statement that stuck with me:
“For every copy an e-book would sell at $14.99, it would sell 1.74 copies if priced at $9.99. So, for example, if customers would buy 100,000 copies of a particular e-book at $14.99, then customers would buy 174,000 copies of that same e-book at $9.99. Total revenue at $14.99 would be $1,499,000. Total revenue at $9.99 is $1,738,000.”
“While we believe 35% should go to the author and 35% to Hachette, the way this would actually work is that we would send 70% of the total revenue to Hachette, and they would decide how much to share with the author. We believe Hachette is sharing too small a portion with the author today, but ultimately that is not our call.”
That last part is a smooth move on Amazon’s part. Nothing like telling trad pubbed authors just how much bank they’re losing due to their contracts. It’s definitely an attempt to try and sway Hachette’s foundation of authors. I don’t see anyone budging anytime soon, but if other publishing houses start making deals with Amazon without all this fuss, I bet we’ll see Hachette bend in the end.
What do you think?