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Hachette suffers fall in ebook sales
[August 01, 2014]

Hachette suffers fall in ebook sales

(Guardian (UK) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Hachette has reported a fall in ebook sales as it continues its battle with Amazon over pricing.

The publisher of Ian Rankin, Robert Galbraith, the crime alter ego of JK Rowling, pictured, and Booker prize nominee Joshua Ferris has been at loggerheads with Amazon for several months in a row that has led the online retailer to block pre-orders and delay deliveries of some of Hachette's bestselling authors in the US.

Lagardere, the French publishing company that owns Hachette, reported on Thursday that sales of ebooks - which make up 29% of Hachette's adult book sales in the US market - had fallen.The publisher said it had seen "a limited impact from Amazon's punitive measures", but added that the market for ebooks had reached a plateau.

Although Lagardere executives blamed a fall in the number of strong bestsellers for dragging down ebook sales, overall book sales in the US were up 5.6%, boosted by the sale of page-turners from Donna Tartt and former Navy Seal Marcus Luttrell.

In the UK, where Amazon has not deployed the same tactics against publishers, Hachette's ebook sales continued to grow. Lagardere reported a 1% dip in sales to euros 903m (pounds 719m).

(c) 2014 Guardian Newspapers Limited.

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