Amazon’s new terms

Eoin Purcell

All’s fair
On the face of it, Amazon’s latest ploy is a fairly decent deal for publishers. For only 2% extra discount you can get paid after 15 days. That’s wonderful, it reduces the time between selling a book and receiving the cash and hopefully therefor makes a publishers cash-flow work better.

But think it through, firstly this is THE PUBLISHERS Money. Secondly if you opt out here is what will happen:

Those publishers who do not offer the extra discount will see their payments made on Amazon’s “standard terms”—effectively 60 days. This means a publisher who sells a book through Amazon in April would not be paid until the end of June. Under the revised terms, a publisher would be paid on 15th May—a full 45 days earlier.

Ouch. That 60 day window is fairly significant.

And I have another fear. If amazon get you onto this 2%-15 days option, what happens in two years time when they make it 2.5%. Once you are on a 15 days cycle, you’ll not want to come off it, especially if Amazon is a significant customer.

Yes, I’m not sure this is a good idea. Far better to accept the longer trade terms and savagely manage the cash-flow issues it presents I think!

Weather is changing this evening,
Eoin

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2 comments

  1. I think you’re right; it seems like it’s a gateway to something more sinister. And in that Bookseller article, didn’t some publishers say that their current payment terms are similar, that the 45 days might not always be the case?

    Do Mercier not deal with Amazon at all?

  2. You may have noticed my comments on TheBookseller.com on this story: it’s a big monopoly, doing what big monopolies do — they constantly change the rules to suit themselves, expecting everyone else to just doff the cap and go along with it.
    Amazon screw the publisher on terms and screw our best customers (bookshops) by constantly pitching everything on price. Yes, it is great for the customer, until the publishers are all put out of business!

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