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'Authors United' promises long-term Amazon strategy

Authors United, the group of writers who signed a letter calling on Amazon to resolve its dispute with Hachette, has said it is “developing a long-term strategy”.

The authors include well-known names such as Paul Auster, David Baldacci, Tracy Chevalier, Lee Child, Jeffery Deaver, Mark Haddon, Sophie Hannah, Stephen King, Barbara Kingsolver, James Patterson, Philip Pullman and Donna Tartt (pictured).

Hachette Book Group (HBG) in the US and Amazon.com have been negotiating terms for a number of months now. During the dispute HBG authors have found their books subject to delayed shipping on Amazon, and some have had their books made unavailable for pre-order.

At the beginning of this month affected authors signed a letter, instigated by US writer Douglas Preston, which also called on "loyal readers" to email Amazon founder and c.e.o. Jeff Bezos to "change his mind".

Preston has now written to the signatories to say that a full-page advert will soon be published in the New York Times, funded by a dozen authors, which will include the letter and the names of the signatories.

Preston also wrote: “This struggle with Amazon may go on for a while. Our group, which we call Authors United, is developing a long-term strategy in case our effort here is not effective. I will be in touch with you about that.

“Together, our group comprises many of the finest writers in the English language, with billions of books sold, and we include journalists and authors in every field and genre imaginable and from all levels of success. I would particularly note that many debut authors have courageously signed this letter. Amazon's recent attempt to dismiss us as a bunch of rich, bestselling authors trying only to protect our income is not going to work.

“We have many loyal and committed readers. They listen when we speak. That represents power; perhaps even enough power to face down one of the world's largest corporations.”

In the most recent development in the dispute, Amazon offered HBG authors 100% royalties on e-books sold while the company remained in negotiations with HBG.

Meanwhile self-published authors have spoken out in support of Amazon.