Amazon continues to solidify its grip over books sales. As first reported yesterday by Business Insider, the online retail giant has signed a multi-year pact to sell new paper books and ebooks from CBS-owned Simon & Schuster, one of the largest publishing companies in the world. The full terms of the deal haven't been disclosed, but it puts an end to months of difficult negotiations and ensures that Simon & Schuster book titles will be prominently promoted on Amazon's website, according to The Wall Street Journal. Simon & Schuster touted the deal as a victory for its authors in a letter it sent them, noting that it preserves the authors' share of ebook sales going forward. But the deal is perhaps most strategically advantageous for Amazon, which reportedly can discount Simon & Schuster titles at will under certain conditions.
Amazon is still locked in a bitter dispute with another separate big book publishing company, Hachette, over a proposed new contract that would require the vast majority of Hachette ebooks to be listed for $9.99 or less on Amazon. Hachette balked and Amazon retaliated by removing option to pre-order new Hachette books online and delaying shipments by weeks. The two sides are still fighting it out, each trying to rally public support for their side, while customers and authors are caught in the middle. Amazon's new deal with Simon & Schuster could advantage Simon & Schuster books in the short-term and make it harder for Hachette to hold out.