Over the weekend, the New York Times reported on a letter of protest, from authors in Germany, about a terms dispute between Amazon and the local publisher, Bonnier. The dispute, the Times noted, mirrors the issue Amazon is having with Hachette in the States and, just as U.S. authors have spoken out about the situation here, German authors have now responded with their own open letter to the tech giant. The Times reported that the letter from the German authors says Amazon "manipulating its recommended reading lists and lying to customers about the availability of books as retaliation in a dispute over e-book prices."
The German letter, signed by over 1,000 authors, states, according to the Times, that, in addition to the fact that Amazon "manipulates recommendation lists," it also "uses authors and their books as a bargaining chip to exact deeper discounts."
Asked about the latest letter from authors slamming the e-trailer, an Amazon spokesperson said the company issued a response late Friday. Amazon's response reads:
“For the majority of their titles, Bonnier have chosen to set terms that make it significantly more expensive for us to buy a digital edition than it is to buy the print edition of the same title. This is a poor choice because 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, and no transportation. E-books can and should be less expensive than print books, and this should be reflected in the terms under which booksellers buy their books from publishers. The fact is Bonnier’s terms are out of step with other major German publishers. We are working diligently with Bonnier to reach a new agreement more in line with typical industry terms in Germany.”