Today Hachette Book Group transitioned to an agency model for digital book sales, drawing an official note from Amazon in the Kindle forums. According to Amazon, the publisher had “disallowed” the sale of eBooks until the agency model is in place–possibly delaying sales until April 3. Click here to read Hachette’s side of the story.
Here is the note: “We recently signed an ‘agency’ agreement with Hachette and we are working with them to offer their books under these terms in the coming days. This means we will not be selling Hachette ebooks in the interim. Update: Hachette has disallowed the sale of ebooks except on agency terms effective as of 12:01 am this morning. We came to terms late last night but we cannot be operationally ready to sell their ebooks on agency terms until two days from now — April 3 — when we will also cut over for the other publishers that are switching to agency. If we can get a two day extension from Hachette to continue selling their ebooks under the prior terms, we can have the Hachette ebooks promptly back for sale today. If not, then they will be back on April 3.”
It’s been a rocky morning for Amazon and major publishers. Penguin has not reached an eBook agreement with Amazon and Hachette has made its official transition to the agency model–transitioning on Amazon with some “hiccups.” Meanwhile, Simon & Schuster and HarperCollins have reached an agency model agreement with Amazon.