The UK bookseller Waterstone’s has started selling Hachette e-books again, The Bookseller reports. Waterstone’s had previously stopped selling them two months ago over uncertainty surrounding UK publishers’ switch to agency pricing terms. Waterstone’s is now on agency terms with HarperCollins and Hachette, but has yet to reach them with Penguin. Waterstones has stopped offering points on its membership card program for any e-book purchases, given that this would conflict with publishers’ agency control.
W H Smith started selling Penguin and Hachette books on agency pricing last week, and Amazon has been selling them already. However, some prices are still varying from site to site due to technical errors.
It remains to be seen whether agency pricing will have a long-term future in the UK, given its rejection of a similar agreement for printed books about a decade ago. However, that agreement had previously stood for almost an entire century.