Well that was quick.
It’s only been a handful of hours since the letter Amazon sent to authors and agents was leaked to the press, and Hachette has already issued a statement declining the offer (found via GigaOm):
Amazon has just sent us a brief proposal. We invite Amazon to withdraw the sanctions they have unilaterally imposed, and we will continue to negotiate in good faith and with the hope of a swift conclusion. We believe that the best outcome for the writers we publish is a contract with Amazon that brings genuine marketing benefits and whose terms allow Hachette to continue to invest in writers, marketing, and innovation. We look forward to resolving this dispute soon and to the benefit of the writers who have trusted their books to us.”
In their letter, Amazon claimed that Hachette wasn’t negotiating in good faith and had not really been negotiating at all (you can find the full letter here). Amazon said that negotiations had stalled in early June when Hachette stopped communicating. i don’t know if that’s true but it certainly has not been denied by Hachette.
Furthermore, Amazon has issued its own response to Hachette’s statement:
We call baloney. Hachette is part of a $10 billion global conglomerate. It wouldn’t be ‘suicide. They can afford it. What they’re really making clear is that they absolutely want their authors caught in the middle of this negotiation because they believe it increases their leverage. All the while, they are stalling and refusing to negotiate, despite the pain caused to their authors. Our offer is sincere. They should take us up on it.
And this, folks, is what it looks like when Amazon plays dirty.