Amazon and HarperCollins Come to Terms, Sign New Deal

Posted on April 14, 2015

Amazon.com and HarperCollins have signed a deal, putting an end to negotiations over the price of ebooks and other issues.

The New York Times reports that the online retailer and the book publisher finally came to terms after a lengthy negotiation. Amazon refused to comment on the deal, but HarperCollins issued a terse statement which said that it has “reached an agreement with Amazon and [HarperCollins] books will continue to be available on the Amazon print and digital platforms." The terms of the deal were not released, which is not surprising given the fact that Amazon won't even admit there is a deal.

In any event, it's good news for HarperCollins authors. No one wants a repeat of last year's endless negotiations and resulting PR war between Hachette and Amazon. Hachette books were not available to purchase or shipped with long delays during the fractious talks. Eventually Amazon cut a deal with Simon and Schuster. That broke the logjam and Hachette and Amazon swiftly came to terms. MacMillan and Amazon cut a deal soon afterwards.

All the major publishers are looking for other outlets to sell their digital and print offerings so they are not so dependent on Amazon.com. But no real alternatives have emerged. Publishers are beefing up their own online stores, which usually sell books at full retail. There have been some efforts to promote sales through Twitter and other social media outlets.

But nothing so far has been able to touch the sales appeal of Amazon, especially for readers who use a Kindle for ebooks. It's just too easy to click and buy a new book the second you finish reading the last one you purchased.