Writers Reach Out to Amazon Board to End Hachette Feud

Sep 16, 2014

Yes, Amazon and Hachette are still battling over ebooks, and Authors United--a group of authors from Hachette and other publishers--have reached out to the Amazon board. In the course of negotiations, Amazon had refused to let users pre-order Hachette books, and has been slow to fill orders. Meanwhile, it says that all it wants is for Hachette to sell its ebooks for $9.99, but Hachette disagrees.

Authors United has been vocal throughout the stand-off but now it has reached out directly to the Amazon Board of Directors with a letter:

"Efforts to impede or block the sale of books have a long and ugly history. Would you, personally, want to be associated with this? We, the undersigned, feel strongly that such actions have no place in a common commercial dispute. Amazon has other negotiating tools at its disposal; it does not need to inflict harm on some of the very authors who helped it become one of the largest retailers in the world."

The letter points out the obvious while also appealing to the human decency of the board, and has managed to-in some ways-change the narrative of this story from Amazon vs. Hachette to Amazon vs. Authors. Authors United has also pointed that the retailer has all the power in this situation: "Amazon chose to involve 2,500 Hachette authors and their books. It could end these sanctions tomorrow while continuing to negotiate."

(amazon.com, authorunited.net, hachettebookgroup.com)