Hachette e-books removed from Waterstone's, WHS, and Book Depository

Hachette e-books removed from Waterstone's, WHS, and Book Depository

<p>Hachette e-books have been removed from the websites of Waterstone&#39;s, W H Smith, Tesco and The Book Depository after the publisher said it would move to agency terms from today (20th September). But Amazon.co.uk is still selling Hachette titles on the Kindle, and appears to still be setting the prices.<br /><br /><em>The Bookseller </em>reported late on Friday that Hachette <a href="../news/128696-hachette-uk-to-set-e-book-prices-from-monday.html" target="_blank" title="http://www.thebookseller.com/news/128696-hachette-uk-to-set-e-book-price... to move to the agency model</a>, whereby it sets the prices of e-books, from Monday, with Gardners, which wholesales e-books, telling its customers that this arrangement included Amazon and Apple. An email sent by Gardners read: &quot;These are not Gardner terms, but the publisher&#39;s and may I suggest that should you wish to &#39;discuss&#39; the terms, direct the queries to the publisher.&quot;</p><p>But as of Monday morning Amazon is continuing to set prices of Hachette e-books below that of Apple, which is already on agency terms. <em>Breaking Dawn</em> is &pound;4.49 in the iBookstore, but &pound;3.41 on Kindle. Rosamund Lipton&#39;s <em>Sister </em>(Piatkus), is on sale on the Apple iBookstore for &pound;3.99, but is priced at &pound;3.20 on the Kindle store. Michael Connolly&#39;s <em>Nine Dragons </em>(Orion) is &pound;5.99 on Apple and &pound;3.59 on Amazon. Amazon.co.uk has previously insisted that it would set its own prices for Kindle editions. </p><p>Other retailers, including Waterstone&#39;s, Tesco, WH Smith and The Book Depository have removed the e-book editions from sale. Titles such as the <em>Breaking Dawn</em> e-book are listed as &quot;out of stock&quot; on the The Book Depository. On Waterstones.com and Tesco.com they simply do not come up in the search, while on W H Smith&#39;s website they are listed as &quot;not available&quot;.</p><p>Kieron Smith, managing director of The Book Depository, which is supplied e-books by Gardners, said the company had taken the decision to remove the books from sale and did not plan to sign the agreement. </p><p>Smith said: &quot;One of the many reasons is we want to apply consistency of offer to the customer. One of the stipulations is we can&#39;t offer coupons or discount vouchers. If we did an e-book offer we would have to have a massive list of exceptions for Hachette titles. We are not being straight with the customer. Unless I can control a customer&#39;s experience, selling e-books with the price set by the publisher is not something I want to do.&quot;<br /><br />In an email seen by <em>The Bookseller</em>, Gardners, who provides e-books including Tesco, The Book Depository and independent bookshops, said: &quot;[Retailers] shall agree that it shall not alter the customer price of any e-book without [Hachette&#39;s] prior written consent.&quot; The wholesaler said booksellers must sign up to the agreement if they were still to continue selling Hachette e-books.<br /><br />In a letter to agents in June, Hachette c.e.o. Tim Hely Hutchinson said it was in discussions with retailers about the shift to agency. He said at the time: &quot;As we will be selling the books direct to consumers, we will be establishing the sales prices for those transactions.&quot;<br /><br />Amazon&#39;s pricing is in line with comments made by Steve Kessel, the retailer&#39;s senior vice president of Amazon Kindle, in August, who said the retailer will set the prices of the e-books it sells.</p>