From Digital Book World:
As many of you know, Amazon and Hachette are in the middle of contract negotiations. Part of the process has involved Amazon putting increasing pressure on the publisher in various ways, like encouraging customers to buy books from other publishers and ceasing discounting on some Hachette titles, to name a few.
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So, how can Hachette as David beat the Goliath of Amazon?
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The same way the real David beat Goliath: Do something unexpected and bold.
I think that if Hachette wants to have a shot at beating Amazon in this round of fighting, it has to pull its books and ebooks from the retailer. And it has to do so publicly, explaining to its authors, the industry and as many readers as possible why it’s doing what it’s doing.
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At the same time, Hachette should offer a deal to Barnes & Noble and Nook, giving the retailer slightly better terms than it had before but demand very special treatment in stores and on the Nook. Hachette would make Barnes & Noble its exclusive nationwide retailer.
The publisher would also have to have its authors go on an aggressive public relations campaign, urging readers to abandon Amazon and buy their books at Barnes & Noble and on Nook.
Link to the rest at Digital Book World and thanks to Kris for the tip.
And, of course, Hachette would thus destroy this quarter’s revenues and profits and next quarter’s and its authors would suffer greatly and no author seeking a tradpub deal would do business with Hachette if he/she had any other choice.
One of the advantages that Amazon has over Hachette and other publishers is that Bezos plays a long game and, over many years, Amazon’s shareholders have been very happy with the results of that game.
Publishers, on the other hand, are owned by big conglomerates that play the quarter-to-quarter earnings game. Big problems with Hachette would mean big problems for its corporate parent, Lagardere.
Three days ago, Lagardere released a statement:
French media group Lagardere has targeted organic annual revenue growth of more than 3 percent through to 2018, helped by new markets and online sales, and said a dispute with online retailer Amazon would not affect 2014 sales.
The family-founded company with 10 percent shareholder Arnaud Lagardere at the helm has recently sold off several low-growth businesses as it seeks to address zero or negative organic growth over the past five quarters.
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Hachette’s chief Arnaud Nourry said he hopes for an early end to the dispute, details of which have not been revealed, adding that it should not affect online sales this year.
“All our energy is dedicated to finding a solution with Amazon, as with any other retailer,” he said at the investor presentation. “I hope it will be off in a few weeks.”
Link to the rest at Reuters
The clear message to investors is that Hachette won’t do anything to lose meaningful sales at its largest customer. Given poor performance over five quarters, it can’t afford more losses.
“A few weeks” vs. the long game. Who wins?
PG puts his money on the long game.