Concerns in the book industry that big five publisher HarperCollins was set to enter a lengthy and acrimonious standoff with online retailer Amazon over new contract negotiations have abated. We reported two weeks ago on a Business Insider article which suggested that there were rumblings of discontent from HarperCollins when it was offered similar terms already signed off by Simon & Schuster, Macmillan and Hachette. The Business Insider had speculated that HarperCollins could withdraw its titles from Amazon, perhaps fuelled with the knowledge that HarperCollins had ramped up its direct sales operation when it began selling print and e-books through the relaunched HarperCollins.com website last year.
HarperCollins spokeswoman Erin Crum confirmed on Monday that the publisher had reached a nultiyear deal with Amazon.
HarperCollins has reached an agreement with Amazon and our books will continue to be available on the Amazon print and digital platforms.
Even at the height of the Hachette and Amazon contract terms dispute throughout 2014, it never looked likely Hachette would pull its books from the retailer. Ultimately the HarperCollins direct sales platform is nothing like a substitute for the percentage of online sales it gets through Amazon and I don’t think HarperCollins’ executives were seriously contemplating a Hachette-style battle drawn out over many months.
Like the deals Amazon has struck with other large publishers, it’s believed that HarperCollins will be allowed set the retail price of e-books while Amazon agrees to provide incentives for publishers to keep prices as low as possible.