Some prominent authors have publicly voiced their frustration with Amazon amid its ongoing e-book contract dispute with Hachette Book Group.
Now, it appears Amazon is responding.
According to a letter sent from Amazon to authors, the company would also begin selling Hachette books on its website and allow for pre-orders — a complete change from how Amazon is currently restricting stock on Hachette books and preventing customers from pre-ordering Hachette titles.
While that seems like a sweet deal for the authors who have been stuck in the middle of the spat between Amazon and Hachette, Authors Guild president Roxana Robinson told the Times that the offer “seems like a short-term solution that encourages authors to take sides against their publishers.”
Writers appear to be split over the controversy between Hachette and Amazon, which continues to reiterate that the battle is in the long-term interest of its customers. Some writers are petitioning to support Amazon, while others — including best-selling author Douglas Preston — have criticized Amazon for trapping them in the middle of its negotiations.
Update, 2:20 p.m.: Amazon has issued a statement in response to Hachette, which was originally quoted in the Wall Street Journal story as calling Amazon’s proposal “suicidal” for the publisher.
We call baloney. Hachette is part of a $10 billion global conglomerate. It wouldn’t be “suicide.” They can afford it. What they’re really making clear is that they absolutely want their authors caught in the middle of this negotiation because they believe it increases their leverage. All the while, they are stalling and refusing to negotiate, despite the pain caused to their authors. Our offer is sincere. They should take us up on it.