Amazon Opens Eastern Front


As Amazon and Hachette continue to battle it out, the online retailer has opened an eastern front, delaying shipments from Bonnier, a German publishing group. The German Publishers and Booksellers Association has filed an anti-trust complaint. Amazon, of course, denies the accusation.

British booksellers are also concerned with Amazon as the retailer looks to impose new contract terms that include limits on book prices and demands to offer print-on-demand versions of publishers’ books.

The changes, [Society of Authors chief executive Nicola Solomon] said, “highlight one wider, and growing, trend across all publishing and bookselling. Namely, that the author is the only 100% essential component in the creation of a book. But retailers are taking a larger chunk of any income, and publishers are taking a larger chunk of any income, so the share of income which makes its way to the author is forever shrinking.”

The French have gone on the offensive with a bill that bans free delivery of discounted books in an effort to protect small, local shops.

Meanwhile, Hachette is bulking up, buying Perseus Books Group, the country’s sixth-largest trade publisher. This move gives Hachette a better bargaining position against Amazon, but as independent publisher Melville House explains, drags smaller indie companies into the fight.

Ian MacAllen is the author of Red Sauce: How Italian Food Became American (Rowman & Littlefield, April 2022). His writing has appeared in Chicago Review of Books, Southern Review of Books, The Offing, 45th Parallel Magazine, Little Fiction, Vol 1. Brooklyn, and elsewhere. He tweets @IanMacAllen and is online at More from this author →