Late last month writer Douglas Preston began circulating a letter, for other authors to sign, that he hoped would convince readers to sway Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos to remove authors from the dispute between the e-tailer and publisher Hachette. That effort was loosely organized. Now the authors have something more concrete; The Bookseller has reported that the authors have formed an organization called Authors United in order to develop a "long-term strategy" to handle the situation.
The signers of the letter, who now make up the membership of Authors United, include dozens of prominent and lesser known writers, published by Hachette and other houses. Authors United members range from Lee Child to Stephen King, Sandra Cisneros, Donna Tartt, and Calvin Trillin.
Although Preston has promised his letter will ultimately be published as an ad in the New York Times, this has not yet happened. Nonetheless, his campaign has already had an impact on Amazon. Earlier this month the e-tailer offered to pay HBG authors 100% royalties on e-books sold during the negotiations.
Now, according to The Bookseller, in a note to signers, Preston explained that the dispute may be drawn out and the group needs to be prepared to dig in. He wrote: “This struggle with Amazon may go on for a while. Our group, which we call Authors United, is developing a long-term strategy in case our effort here is not effective.”