Sunday, June 08, 2008

Hachette Livre UK's tiff with Amazon UK

Hachette Livre, a top four book publisher is accusing Amazon UK of pulling out several of its titles from the e-commerce platform, demanding higher sales discount, reports Sunday Herald.

The ugly Amazon - from International Herald Tribune

Hachette claims that it is already offering more than 50% of the MRP as sales commission to Amazon, but that Amazon wants even more.

In India, the bane of English publishing is the distribution discount demanded by the distributors. You have to pay anywhere between 50-60%, and wait for 5-6 months to get the money. And it is on sale or return basis. With what is left, the publisher is expected to pay the royalty, advances, printing/paper/binding and the editorial overheads. This forces the publisher to hike the price of the books artificially, which forces the bookseller to offer discounts to the customer.

The whole think is sinister. Instead, if the booksellers and distributors agree to a decent margin structure, the pricing can be kept reasonable and the customers need not be offered any discount.

Thankfully, the Indian language publishing market is not polluted in this manner.

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