The new sales agreement supposedly reached on Monday by Amazon and Simon & Schuster, has been confirmed by both parties. The deal, which affects the sale of the publisher's digital and print books, is something that S&S CEO Carolyn Reidy called "a return to a version of agency pricing."
In a letter sent to authors and agents on Monday night, Reidy said that the deal gives S&S, "with some limited exceptions," control over the price of its books. She said that it provides the house "with the flexibility to deliver great prices for readers.” The agreement, which goes into effect on January 1, and is a multi-year contract, “maintains the author’s share of income generated by e-book sales,” Reidy added.
An Amazon spokesperson said the -e-tailer, which is engaged in a protracted and public battle with Hachette Book Group over e-book terms, is “pleased” to have reached an agreement with S&S.
In a statement, Amazon stressed that the agreement “specifically creates a financial incentive for Simon & Schuster to deliver lower prices for readers.” How that provision squares with S&S’s statement about the deal maintaining authors’ share of income from e-book sales at current levels, though, is not clear. Still, as Reidy noted in her letter, the agreement ensures that titles from S&S authors “will be continuously available for sale at this major retailer through the year’s holiday book- buying season and well beyond. “
A spokesperson for HBG, contacted about its own situation in light of S&S's deal, said the publisher had no comment on the status of its negotiations with Amazon.
Amazon was first reported to be in talks with S&S in July, when Leslie Moonves, CEO of S&S parent company CBS, said at a media conference that the publisher was in negotiations with Amazon. A source familiar with the process said the deal came after a lengthy process.