Whew. As a Simon & Schuster author, I have to say I’m relieved to see how quickly my publisher struck a deal with Amazon. According to several sources, the negotiations took just a few weeks and the agreement was reached with months left on the current contract. It’s a multiple-year deal, and both sides sound pleased with the results. Simon & Schuster retains the rights to set prices, and Amazon retains the ability to discount.
Everyone is speculating on the finer points of the deal and wondering why Hachette can’t come to terms with Amazon. Hints abound. In fact, the terms Amazon is seeking have been staring every self-published author in the face for years. We can even catch glimmers of confirmation in this Simon & Schuster deal.
Engadget reports that Simon & Schuster now has “a financial incentive to drop prices.”
The New York Times quotes S&S as saying that “with some limited exceptions,” the contract gives S&S the ability to dictate prices.
A financial incentive to drop prices. Limits on S&S’s ability to dictate prices. What does this deal entail?
Some commentators are hailing the deal as a return to Agency pricing, but I wonder if these are the same commentators who claim that self-published KDP authors employ Agency pricing?
Guess what? We don’t.
Our agreement with Amazon is something more like Incentivized Agency. If we set our prices between $2.99 and $9.99, we get 70%. If we set our prices outside that range, our split drops to 35%. According to our EULA, Amazon retains the right to discount our ebooks as it sees fit. Continue Reading →