Wednesday, February 04, 2009

For those of you who don't know, Hachette Livre, the company who owns many UK publishing labels such as Orion, Victor Gollancz, Wiedenfeld and Nicholson (and many more!), is in a stand-off with Amazon UK.
For years Amazon has increased the percentage of commission it takes from the publishers as each book is sold. Last year Amazon informed publishers that they were increasing the percentage again. Hachette refused to comply. As a result there are many books published by Orion, Gollancz, W&N etc. that have had the 'Buy Now' button removed from their page. If you look at 'A Quiet Belief In Angels' you will see that you cannot buy this directly from Amazon. It has not been available from Amazon for several months. You have to either buy a new copy from an Amazon-registered dealer, or a second-hand copy. Ordinarily this means that you pay more for the book.
I do not presume to understand the political ins and outs of this situation. All I know is that there are a great many authors who are published by the Hachette group, and their books are unavailable from Amazon.
All I can ask of anyone is to write reviews of my books on Amazon. Also write reviews of any other Orion books you might have read. This brings the issue more to the forefront as when reviews are written Amazon take notice.
Ultimately the stand-off has to end. It has gone on for months and months and months, and a great deal of excellent authors are being denied sales because of this situation. I am not saying that Amazon is right, or that Hachette is right. That is not the issue. The issue is that a compromise has to be reached, and I believe that it is up to us - as readers and writers - to force this compromise and get them to reach an agreement.
So please write reviews. And ask anyone you know who has read the books to write reviews as well. It makes a huge difference!
Thank you!


Debbie said...

Hi Roger
Great blog about your trip to Washington can't wait to see it when it's aired.

Just looked on Amazon at your books and noticed that the only one they're not selling is AQBIA. So why did they pick on just that one?

R J Ellory said...

Because it's the one that was selling best, and they want to limit sales as much as they can.