Amazon v Hachette: Don’t Believe The Spin

David Pandolfe:

An insightful analysis of the ongoing Amazon/Hachette dispute from writer David Gaughran’s blog.

Originally posted on David Gaughran:

amazonhachetteThe internet is seething over Amazon’s reported hardball tactics in negotiations with Hachette.

Newspapers and blogs are filled with heated opinion pieces, decrying Amazon’s domination of the book business.

Actual facts are thinner on the ground, however, and if history is any guide, we haven’t heard the full story. Here’s how it started.

In a historical quirk of the trade, publishers and booksellers negotiate co-op deals at the same time as the general agreement to carry titles. (For those who don’t know, co-op is the industry term for preferred in-store placement, such as face-out instead of spine-out, position on end-caps, front tables, window displays, and so on.)

At publishers’ insistence, the same practice has continued in the online and e-book world, namely that negotiations regarding virtual co-op (e.g. high visibility spots on retailer sites) take place at the same time as discussions over general terms and publisher-retailer discounts.

There is a lot…

View original 1,809 more words

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David Pandolfe is the author of two novels, Jump When Ready and Streetlights Like Fireworks. Currently, he’s working on a sequel to Jump When Ready, to be published in 2014. His short fiction has also appeared in literary reviews (this made him feel really cool at the time but he would imagine they’ve since disappeared from the face of the earth). While he’s still writing about himself in third-person, David should probably also mention that he has an MFA in Creative Writing from Virginia Commonwealth University. He lives outside Richmond, VA with his wife, two kids and a dog who’s terrified of thunder (not the best situation since it thunders often in Richmond).

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