Amazon demands Hachette pay for 'inventive' services

Amazon demands Hachette pay for 'inventive' services

Amazon is demanding Hachette Book Group (HBG) pay for services including pre-order buttons, personalised recommendations and a dedicated employee at the retailer for Hachette books, it has been reported.

The two companies are currently negotiating new terms, and their stand off, which first emerged nearly two months ago, has resulted in delayed delivery of some HBG titles, while the pre-order button was removed from others.

The New York Times has reported that Amazon is asking for payment for a range of services, in what the paper called “similar to so-called co-op arrangements with traditional readers, like paying Barnes & Noble for placing a book in the front of the store”.

Amazon has taken away services like the pre-order button “to teach Hachette a lesson”, a Hachette source told the New York Times.

The source told the paper that Amazon “is very inventive about what we’d call standard service. They’re teasing out all these layers and saying, ‘If you want that service, you’ll have to pay for it’. In the end, it’s very hard to know what you’d be paying.”
Hachette has refused to pay for the services, the source said.

Both Amazon and Hachette have not commented on the claims in the New York Times.

Among the books which had their pre-order buttons removed was J K Rowling’s new Robert Galbraith novel The Silkworm, which was released last week.

The book is now experiencing delayed shipping on Amazon.com, with customers told that it “usually ships within 2 to 4 weeks”.