Publishers unsure over Amazon terms

<p>Publishers in Amazon&#39;s Advantage scheme are continuing to weigh-up the giant internet bookseller&#39;s offer of a reduced payment period in return for increased discount, despite the deadline for the new terms to be agreed passing yesterday (1st April). Some publishers are even considering withdrawing from the scheme, which Amazon says &quot;significantly increases sales&quot;.</p><p>Last week, revealed Amazon was changing its terms and scrapping the existing 30-day payment period. Instead, publishers can have a 15-day payment period but must offer Amazon a further 2% off&mdash;bringing the total discount to 62%. Those publishers who do not offer the extra discount will see their payments made on Amazon&#39;s &quot;standard terms&rdquo;--effectively 60 days. Amazon applies the payment period at the end of the month in which the transaction took place. This means that those publishers on the latter scheme could wait up to 90 days for payment.</p><p>Although the internet retailer first contacted publishers on 24th March, the deadline for a decision was 1st April.</p><p>One publisher said he was considering whether to remain in the Advantage scheme. He said: &quot;What we are talking about here is in effect losing the 24hr-supply option, as the books will still be up there, so we have to see how much value we get from immediate supply.&rdquo; </p><p>Another publisher said the issue was still being discussed internally. However, several of those who had made a decision said they would accept the later payment. &quot;We are simply not interested in giving them extra discount for early payment,&rdquo; said one. &quot;We don&#39;t need [the money] that quickly, as we are quite cash-rich at the moment.&rdquo;</p><p>Another compared the 60-day wait to existing arrangements with wholesalers.</p><p>The Independent Publishers Guild spoke with Amazon at the end of last week to express concern at the timing&mdash;in light of the economic downturn&mdash;and lack of notice given. </p><p>As reported last Friday (27th March), Amazon&rsquo;s director of books, Gordon Willoughby, told the IPG that the move was &quot;a global programme covering other products, and that they would not be able to alter the terms especially for books&quot;. Executive director Bridget Shine reported in her Bulletin to members one week ago: &quot;Gordon assures me that he will reply to IPG members who contact him directly. I would encourage all members affected by these changes to share your concerns with Gordon.&quot;</p>