Archives du mot-clé Amazon

Hachette a-t-il été condamné ?

J’ai envoyé l’email suivant aux deux éditeurs Hachette et Amazon. Si je reçois réponse, nous connaîtrons, me semble-t-il, le coupable ?

Amazon writes:

Hachette has already been caught illegally colluding with its competitors
to raise e-book prices. So far those parties have paid $166 million in
penalties and restitution. Colluding with its competitors to raise prices
wasn’t only illegal, it was also highly disrespectful to Hachette’s readers.

Hachette replies:

Hachette sets prices for our books entirely on our own, not in collusion
with anyone. (email to me)

I want to understand. Does Hachette speek of the prices of its paper books
and not of the e-books ? Can Hachette please confirm to me that it has been
legally fined for collusion ?

Sincerely yours,

Pierre Van Leeuw
Ingénieur civil
Avenue Montjoie, 247
1180 Bruxelles

La réponse de Hachette

J’ai reçu la réponse suivante de Hachette. Un autre point de vue que celui d’Amazon, n’est-il pas ?


Thank you for writing to me in response to Amazon’s email.  I appreciate that you care enough about books to take the time to write.  We usually don’t comment publicly while negotiating, but I’ve received a lot of requests for Hachette’s response to the issues raised by Amazon, and want to reply with a few facts.

  • Hachette sets prices for our books entirely on our own, not in collusion with anyone.
  • We set our ebook prices far below corresponding print book prices, reflecting savings in manufacturing and shipping.
  • More than 80% of the ebooks we publish are priced at $9.99 or lower.
  • Those few priced higher—most at $11.99 and $12.99—are less than half the price of their print versions.
  • Those higher priced ebooks will have lower prices soon, when the paperback version is published.
  • The invention of mass-market paperbacks was great for all because it was not intended to replace hardbacks but to create a new format available later, at a lower price.

As a publisher, we work to bring a variety of great books to readers, in a variety of formats and prices.  We know by experience that there is not one appropriate price for all ebooks, and that all ebooks do not belong in the same $9.99 box.  Unlike retailers, publishers invest heavily in individual books, often for years, before we see any revenue.  We invest in advances against royalties, editing, design, production, marketing, warehousing, shipping, piracy protection, and more.  We recoup these costs from sales of all the versions of the book that we publish—hardcover, paperback, large print, audio, and ebook.  While ebooks do not have the $2-$3 costs of manufacturing, warehousing, and shipping that print books have, their selling price carries a share of all our investments in the book.


This dispute started because Amazon is seeking a lot more profit and even more market share, at the expense of authors, bricks and mortar bookstores, and ourselves.  Both Hachette and Amazon are big businesses and neither should claim a monopoly on enlightenment, but we do believe in a book industry where talent is respected and choice continues to be offered to the reading public.


Once again, we call on Amazon to withdraw the sanctions against Hachette’s authors that they have unilaterally imposed, and restore their books to normal levels of availability.  We are negotiating in good faith.  These punitive actions are not necessary, nor what we would expect from a trusted business partner.

Thank you again and best wishes,

Michael Pietsch



 Michael Pietsch | Chief Executive Officer 

237 Park Avenue New York NY 10017


Le litige Amazon – Hachette

Comme auteur sur le site Amazon, j’ai reçu l’email suivant:

Dear KDP Author, Just ahead of World War II, there was a radical invention that shook the foundations of book publishing. It was the paperback book. This was a time when movie tickets cost 10 or 20 cents, and books cost $2.50. The new paperback cost 25 cents – it was ten times cheaper. Readers loved the paperback and millions of copies were sold in just the first year. With it being so inexpensive and with so many more people able to afford to buy and read books, you would think the literary establishment of the day would have celebrated the invention of the paperback, yes? Nope. Instead, they dug in and circled the wagons. They believed low cost paperbacks would destroy literary culture and harm the industry (not to mention their own bank accounts). Many bookstores refused to stock them, and the early paperback publishers had to use unconventional methods of distribution – places like newsstands and drugstores. The famous author George Orwell came out publicly and said about the new paperback format, if “publishers had any sense, they would combine against them and suppress them.” Yes, George Orwell was suggesting collusion. Well… history doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme. Fast forward to today, and it’s the e-book’s turn to be opposed by the literary establishment. Amazon and Hachette – a big US publisher and part of a $10 billion media conglomerate – are in the middle of a business dispute about e-books. We want lower e-book prices. Hachette does not. Many e-books are being released at $14.99 and even $19.99. That is unjustifiably high for an e-book. With an e-book, there’s no printing, no over-printing, no need to forecast, no returns, no lost sales due to out of stock, no warehousing costs, no transportation costs, and there is no secondary market – e-books cannot be resold as used books. E-books can and should be less expensive. Perhaps channeling Orwell’s decades old suggestion, Hachette has already been caught illegally colluding with its competitors to raise e-book prices. So far those parties have paid $166 million in penalties and restitution. Colluding with its competitors to raise prices wasn’t only illegal, it was also highly disrespectful to Hachette’s readers. The fact is many established incumbents in the industry have taken the position that lower e-book prices will “devalue books” and hurt “Arts and Letters.” They’re wrong. Just as paperbacks did not destroy book culture despite being ten times cheaper, neither will e-books. On the contrary, paperbacks ended up rejuvenating the book industry and making it stronger. The same will happen with e-books. Many inside the echo-chamber of the industry often draw the box too small. They think books only compete against books. But in reality, books compete against mobile games, television, movies, Facebook, blogs, free news sites and more. If we want a healthy reading culture, we have to work hard to be sure books actually are competitive against these other media types, and a big part of that is working hard to make books less expensive. Moreover, e-books are highly price elastic. This means that when the price goes down, customers buy much more. We’ve quantified the price elasticity of e-books from repeated measurements across many titles. For every copy an e-book would sell at $14.99, it would sell 1.74 copies if priced at $9.99. So, for example, if customers would buy 100,000 copies of a particular e-book at $14.99, then customers would buy 174,000 copies of that same e-book at $9.99. Total revenue at $14.99 would be $1,499,000. Total revenue at $9.99 is $1,738,000. The important thing to note here is that the lower price is good for all parties involved: the customer is paying 33% less and the author is getting a royalty check 16% larger and being read by an audience that’s 74% larger. The pie is simply bigger. But when a thing has been done a certain way for a long time, resisting change can be a reflexive instinct, and the powerful interests of the status quo are hard to move. It was never in George Orwell’s interest to suppress paperback books – he was wrong about that. And despite what some would have you believe, authors are not united on this issue. When the Authors Guild recently wrote on this, they titled their post: “Amazon-Hachette Debate Yields Diverse Opinions Among Authors” (the comments to this post are worth a read).  A petition started by another group of authors and aimed at Hachette, titled “Stop Fighting Low Prices and Fair Wages,” garnered over 7,600 signatures.  And there are myriad articles and posts, by authors and readers alike, supporting us in our effort to keep prices low and build a healthy reading culture. Author David Gaughran’s recent interview is another piece worth reading. We recognize that writers reasonably want to be left out of a dispute between large companies. Some have suggested that we “just talk.” We tried that. Hachette spent three months stonewalling and only grudgingly began to even acknowledge our concerns when we took action to reduce sales of their titles in our store. Since then Amazon has made three separate offers to Hachette to take authors out of the middle. We first suggested that we (Amazon and Hachette) jointly make author royalties whole during the term of the dispute. Then we suggested that authors receive 100% of all sales of their titles until this dispute is resolved. Then we suggested that we would return to normal business operations if Amazon and Hachette’s normal share of revenue went to a literacy charity. But Hachette, and their parent company Lagardere, have quickly and repeatedly dismissed these offers even though e-books represent 1% of their revenues and they could easily agree to do so. They believe they get leverage from keeping their authors in the middle. We will never give up our fight for reasonable e-book prices. We know making books more affordable is good for book culture. We’d like your help. Please email Hachette and copy us. Hachette CEO, Michael Pietsch: Copy us at: Please consider including these points: – We have noted your illegal collusion. Please stop working so hard to overcharge for ebooks. They can and should be less expensive. – Lowering e-book prices will help – not hurt – the reading culture, just like paperbacks did. – Stop using your authors as leverage and accept one of Amazon’s offers to take them out of the middle. – Especially if you’re an author yourself: Remind them that authors are not united on this issue. Thanks for your support.   The Amazon Books Team

 J’ai envoyé l’email suivant à Hachette avec copie pour Amazon, comme il le demande.

Pierre VAN LEEUW          

Ingénieur civil U.I.Lv

B – 1180 Bruxelles, le   9 août 2014

Avenue Montjoie, 247

Tel 02 343.81.58 

e-mail :

  A l’attention de

Hachette CEO, Michael Pietsch


Je reçois d’Amazon un message m’expliquant le litige qui vous sépare. Je ne vais pas prendre parti. Ils me demandent de vous écrire et de leur envoyer copie, ce que je vais faire. C’est comme auteur et comme lecteur que je vous écris.

L’auteur peut avoir deux motivations :

  •  L’écriture est pour lui un hobby. C’est mon cas. Ma motivation : être lu et recevoir un retour des lecteurs. J’ai déjà vendu sur Amazon quelques centaines de bouquins, alors même que je n’aurais peut-être jamais trouvé d’éditeur sans Amazon. Je suis très satisfait d’être souvent en tête des ventes dans ma catégorie.
  •  L’écriture est son métier, il en vit. Sa motivation principale, même s’il déclare le contraire, est l’optimisation de ses revenus. Ford disait rechercher les millions de clients et pas les clients à millions. C’est une politique commerciale qui a fait ses preuves. Mais le commerce de luxe nourrit également très bien !

Je suppose que nous sommes tous les trois Amazon, vous et moi, partisans de l’économie de marché et de la libre entreprise. Dans ce cas, qui suis-je et qui est Amazon pour vous dicter votre politique de vente ? Seuls vos auteurs pourraient la critiquer. C’est leur affaire et la vôtre. Pas la mienne et celle d’Amazon.

Je ne crois pas très fort au combat d’Amazon pour la défense de la culture. Leur organisation est commerciale avant tout. Par exemple, s’ils défendent la culture, pourquoi faut-t-il avoir un compte français et un compte USA pour pouvoir acheter sur Amazon France et Amazon USA. J’ai un compte USA et la seule fois où j’ai commandé sur Paris, Amazon a transféré mon compte en France et mes dollars en Euros. Je n’ai appris que quand j’ai voulu acheter sur USA, que je n’avais pas de compte et étais inconnu. Si c’est leur façon de favoriser les échanges culturels…

En conclusion, je vous signale que vous avez très peu de chance que je vous achète un livre, car comme auteur et comme lecteur, je ne travaille plus que par internet, c’est tellement facile. Si cela ne vous fait ni chaud ni froid, c’est votre affaire et celle de vos auteurs. Je ne vois pas pourquoi Amazon peut vous en faire reproche. Mais il m’arrive parfois de le regretter. Ce qui pourrait peut-être vous concerner.

Je vous prie, Monsieur, d’agréer l’expression de ma considération distinguée.

J’espère ainsi faire avancer le schmilblick. Je pense que Hachette devrait réfléchir à sa position et que Amazon est un peu culotté de se présenter comme le défenseur de la « culture pour tous » ! Et vous, qu’en pensez-vous ?