HMH US reaches new sales agreement with Amazon

HMH US reaches new sales agreement with Amazon

US educational and trade publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has reportedly reached a new e-book sales agreement with Amazon.

Publishers Lunch reported that the publisher “looks to be working with a modified form of agency across their e-book accounts now”, although Houghton Mifflin Harcourt declined to discuss its retailer terms.

Publishers Lunch analysed multiple price listings, finding that where only a print price and a Kindle price were listed, Amazon seems “to be selling the e-book at HMH's stipulated consumer digital list price”.

“HMH's arrangements do look to allow for some limited discounting and/or price matching, however,” said Publishers Lunch. “Generally, when Amazon is not selling at HMH's publisher-set price, the retailer also includes a "digital list price" with a strike-through.

“Our inferences are based on surveying a number of HMH e-book price points across multiple retail sites.”

Publishers Lunch said that most of the publisher’s “popular new release trade books appear to carry e-book prices of $14.99 or under”, with some of their cookbooks and bigger trade and reference titles having a higher list price.

“Amazon looks to have some more discounting leeway as the e-book price rises,” said Publishers Lunch.

Amazon has renewed a number of deals with publishers over the past year.

Macmillan US reached a new multi-year deal with Amazon, including an agency deal on e-books, in December 2014.

In October last year Simon & Schuster US also signed a new multi-year deal, which the publisher described as a “return to a version of agency".

And after a months-long dispute, Hachette Book Group in the US reached a new agreement with Amazon, which gave the publisher responsibility for setting consumer prices for its e-books with "specific financial incentives" to keep that price low. HarperCollins US also reached an agreement in April this year with Amazon.

In the UK and the US, Penguin Random House earlier this year signed new long-term sales agreements for print and e-book sales.