Bestselling authors write to Amazon’s board over ‘ugly’ Hachette sales dispute

Group representing Donna Tartt, Stephen King and others says Amazon tactics have driven sales down by at least 50%: The Guardian

Some of the world’s most famous authors escalated their heated dispute with Amazon on Monday, publishing a letter to retailer’s board warning of the “ugly history” of blocking book sales.

Amazon and publishing giant Hachette have been locked in a six-month dispute over the pricing of e-books that has led Amazon to delay shipment of Hachette authors, refuse pre-orders and institute other tactics aimed at damping the publisher’s sales.

Bestselling authors including Malcolm Gladwell, Stephen King, Michael Pollan and Donna Tartt are among the Hachette authors who have protested Amazon’s move.

On Monday Authors United, which represents the writers, released a letter it is sending to Amazon’s 10 board members that claims the retailer’s tactics have driven down Hachette authors’ sales by at least 50% and in some cases as much as 90%.

The group points out that Russell Grandinetti, Amazon senior vice-president and the man seen as the driving force in the dispute, has stated that the company was “forced to take this step because Hachette refused to come to the table”. Grandinetti has also said that “authors are the only leverage we have”.

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