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Ebook war hots up as Amazon strikes deal with Simon & Schuster

The war between Amazon and Hachette over ebook pricing has taken an intriguing twist with the news that Amazon has signed a new distribution deal with Simon & Schuster.

Amazon has signed a deal with one of Hachette’s biggest publishing rivals, Simon & Schuster, to keep selling the publisher’s books (both digital and physical) for a number of years.

Though the exact terms aren’t known at present, the Wall Street Journal claims that they will include the agreement that Simon & Schuster sets the price for its digital books. Amazon, however, will be able to discount titles in certain situations.

The agreement will also apparently see Simon & Schuster books well promoted on the Amazon website.

“We are very happy with this agreement as it is economically advantageous for both Simon & Schuster and its authors and maintains the author’s share of income generated from e-book sales,” reads a letter from Simon & Schuster to its authors and agents.

This deal will come as a particular blow to Hachette, which has reached a stand-off with Amazon over ebook pricing. As a result, Hachette’s books cannot be pre-ordered through the online retailer and stock has been reduced, among other incurred penalties.

Sales of Hachette books are said to have suffered as a result, and Hachette authors are growing increasingly frustrated at the lack of resolution.

It’s unclear at this point whether Amazon has offered the same or similar terms to Hachette as it offered to Simon & Schuster.

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