S&S strikes 'version of agency' deal with Amazon

S&S strikes 'version of agency' deal with Amazon

Simon & Schuster in the US and Amazon have signed a new multiyear deal which is a "return to a version of agency" and is also “economically advantageous for both Simon & Schuster and its authors”.

An email from Carolyn Reidy (pictured), president and c.e.o. at Simon & Schuster, said that the agreement, which covers print and digital books, is “a return to a version of agency pricing that, with some limited exceptions, gives control of e-book pricing to Simon & Schuster”.

The German subsidiary of Sweden’s Bonnier Group has also reached an agreement with Amazon, German media reported yesterday.

But there is still no sign of a resolution in the online retailer’s dispute with Hachette Book Group in the US, which was first made public in May this year and which has seen books by Hachette authors subject to delayed shipping and reduced discounts.

In her email to authors and agents yesterday (20th October), Reidy said: “Our new deal assures that your books will be continuously available for sale at this major retailer through this year’s holiday book buying season and well beyond. It is not our usual practice to announce such agreements, but our publishers and I feel that the high level of public speculation over the status of these talks made it important to let you know about this positive development.

“We are very happy with this agreement as it is economically advantageous for both Simon & Schuster and its authors and maintains the author’s share of income generated from e-book sales. It addresses our mutual concerns about preserving the value of our intellectual property in the marketplace, as it is a return to a version of agency pricing that, with some limited exceptions, gives control of e-book pricing to Simon & Schuster, while providing us the flexibility to deliver great prices for readers.”

Reidy said the digital transition of the past year had presented Simon & Schuster with “many challenges as well as opportunities” but its “primary focus has always remained how we can best publish your books so that they reach the maximum possible number of readers, and we look forward to working with you and all our retailers to fulfill that mission”.

Christian Schumacher-Gebler, c.e.o. of Bonnier Media Germany said the company’s agreement with Amazon was a “fair way” for all three parties, and met “the demands and expectations of Amazon and the publishers as well as the interests of authors", reported Boersenblatt.