SAN FRANCISCO, July 8 (Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc has proposed that Hachette authors keep 100 percent of revenue from digital book sales while both sides work to resolve a contractual dispute that has kept some Hachette books off its website for months, the Wall Street Journal cited people familiar with the matter as saying.
As part of their dispute, Amazon delayed the delivery of some Hachette titles earlier this year and at one point removed an option to pre-order “The Silkworm,” by Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling writing as Robert Galbraith.
At the center of the dispute is the price of e-books, but neither side has shared more details. Amazon’s actions have alienated authors including top-selling writer James Patterson, who have publicly criticized the online commerce company.
Amazon made its latest proposal in a letter to several authors and agents, the Journal on Tuesday cited its sources as saying. Typically, Amazon, Hachette and authors would share digital book sales in some agree-upon proportion.
If Hachette agrees to the idea, Amazon would return to “normal levels of on-hand print inventory, return to normal pricing in all formats, and for books that haven’t gone on sale yet, reinstate pre-orders,” the Journal cited the letter as saying.
Amazon and Hachette were not immediately available for comment. Hachette, the fourth largest U.S. book publisher, is owned by France’s Lagadere. (Reporting by San Francisco newsroom; editing by Andrew Hay)