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Amazon responded to the ongoing controversy over its decision to limit availability of Hachette titles as the companies try to negotiate a new contract. Now Hachette has responded to that response: In a lengthy statement provided to Publishers Lunch (free) on Wednesday, Hachette said, “It is good to see Amazon acknowledge that its business decisions significantly affect authors’ lives.” It said over 5,000 titles have been affected by Amazon’s tactics (including delayed shipping and lack of pre-orders) and added, “By preventing its customers from connecting with these authors’ books, Amazon indicates that it considers books to be like any other consumer good. They are not.”

  1. Umm, but they are? A book is just the medium for transporting the content from the author’s brain to the consumer. We have hardcover books, paperback books, eBooks. Within the hardcover space (in college text books for example) we have varying degrees of quality, with domestic vs. international versions. The physical material has a cost associated with it, from the paper to the binding to the ink. Then there are carrying (storage) costs related to the volume of the book, and transportation costs to move them in and out of the warehouses.

    All of these costs must be included in the value of the book. Consumers are increasingly saying that the physical presentation is not as valuable as the content, which is why eBook popularity is increasing. The physical book publishers are finally realizing that their niche is no longer relevant to what consumers want, and they are fighting before they are obliterated. The publishers need to recognize that all they can provide is marketing/advertising to authors, which is something that Amazon does much better anyway simply by listing a book for sale in their catalog.

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    1. Amazon is a cheap scabby outfit, Hachette this far into the digital age should just move on and develop their own infrastructure for selling direct to the public.

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