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Hachette Announces Layoffs

Hachette Book Group announces layoffs - peoplewhowriteToday, Publishers Weekly reported Hachette Book Group is eliminating 3% of its U.S. personnel, or 28 employees. A company statement quoted on PW called the cuts “essential to our company’s continued growth, and our ability to carry out our primary goal: to publish our authors’ work with passion, originality, and impact.”

The layoffs come amidst news of the publisher’s tense negotiations with Amazon. Hachette, the subsidiary of French multimedia company Lagardère, is allegedly at loggerheads with the etailer over e-book profit margins. In a statement released last week, Amazon expressed that, until the dispute is resolved, it is “buying less (print) inventory and ‘safety stock’ on titles from the publisher, Hachette, than we ordinarily do, and are no longer taking pre-orders on titles whose publication dates are in the future.”

Comedian Stephen Colbert, whose new book America Again is published by Hachette, is among a number of authors including J.K. Rowling and Malcolm Gladwell caught between their publisher and the retail giant that commands more than 30% of book sales. Colbert is asking his fans to temporarily boycott Amazon until they cease delaying orders of Hachette, while Gladwell told the New York Times “if [the standoff] keeps going, the authors are going to have to get together.”

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