Amazon and Publishers Struggle with Agency Model

By Jason Boog Comment

a.com_logo_RGB1.jpgToday Amazon and a few major publishers have struggled to strike eBook deals before the arrival of Apple’s iPad. Here’s a an end-of the day recap of the situation.

As of this 4:17 PM EST writing, Kindle editions of Hachette books appear to be unavailable. You can check availability of Hachette eBooks on Amazon by clicking on this link to Eclipse by Stephanie Meyer. This morning Amazon wrote a note to readers and Hachette wrote a note to authors and agents about the problem.

Earlier today this GalleyCat editor appeared on the Digital Book World Roundtable, talking about the agency model with publishing consultant Laura Dawson, Chelsea Green director of digital initiatives Kate Rados, and former Vertigo Books co-owner Bridget Warren–an event moderated by Digital Book World’s Guy LeCharles Gonzalez. The show’s page has more links and resources.

Amazon customers have responded passionately in the Amazon forums. A reader named Panama has launched a thread to “boycott agency books”. They wrote: “Now is the time to vote with dollars. Just say no to agency books.” As of this writing, the post had collected 15 responses.

At the same time, Penguin has not struck an eBook agreement with Amazon, but the buy buttons for Kindle editions of Penguin books appear to be functional. You can check this afternoon by following this link to the Kindle Edition of Angelology by Danielle Trussoni.

Finally, both Simon & Schuster and HarperCollins have struck eBook agreements with Amazon.