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Hachette to sell books through Twitter

Hachette, the publisher that was recently at the centre of a huge argument with Amazon over e-book pricing, has revealed that it is to start selling books through Twitter.

The publisher has announced that it has teamed up with Gumroad to enable book purchases directly through the popular social network.

Hachette will launch the initiative with a handful of select authors on December 11. Books from Amanda Palmer, Chris Hadfield, and The Onion, will be made available in limited quantities for a limited time through Twitter.

Buy buttons will appear on authors’ tweets, allowing readers to purchase the books without having to leave the network.

Interestingly, each Twitter purchase will be accompanied by bonus material, marking them out as special compared to the bog standard editions that are sold through places like, oh, let’s say Amazon.

Palmer’s book The Art of Asking will be first on December 11, and it’ll come with an original manuscript page, with notes from the author, editor, and Palmer’s famous writer husband Neil Gaiman.

Astronaut Chris Hadfield’s book meanwhile, You Are Here, will launch four days later with a signed original aerial photo of Corfu. We have no idea why. Perhaps you have to read the book.

Finally, The Onion’s book, The Onion Magazine: The Iconic Covers That Transformed an Undeserving World, will hit Twitter on December 18 with a set of note cards featuring twelve of the editors’ favourite magazine covers.

It’s a very bold, original move, and it’s clearly one that’s aimed at exploring new sales avenues outside of Amazon. The wounds obviously go deep with that particular conflict.

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