TOKYO: A group of Japanese publishers have lashed out at Amazon’s new book sale rules, after US and European authors accused the online retailer of using strong-arm negotiating tactics.
Several Tokyo-based publishers said Amazon recently unveiled a four-point system that rates them based on the size of the commission they pay for selling books on the US company’s vast website, among other criteria.
Amazon then pushes hardest to promote books from publishers who agreed to the most favourable contract terms, which directly impacts how a book sells, they said, confirming a report by Japan’s Asahi newspaper this week.
“Many publishers are in talks with Amazon to renew their two-year contracts, but this time they’re facing heavy demands from the company, which has grown rapidly here,” one publishing source told AFP on condition of anonymity.
“Some smaller publishers are facing demands to accept a surge in commission fees… or see their contract terminated.
“If this kind of practice continues, small Japanese publishers who have created a diverse publishing culture here will be forced to go bankrupt,” he said.