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Hachette Apologizes to Authors Caught in Amazon Dispute

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May 24 (Bloomberg) -- Hachette Book Group apologized to its authors for a dispute with Amazon.com Inc. that prompted the online retailer to block pre-orders for some of the publisher’s forthcoming book releases.

“Please know that we are doing everything in our power to find a solution to this difficult situation, one that best serves our authors and their work, and that preserves our ability to survive and thrive as a strong and author-centric publishing company,” Chief Executive Officer Michael Pietsch said in a letter.

Disagreements between Seattle-based Amazon and publishers have centered on digital-book prices and a reluctance by some houses to replace physical copies of older books with online versions.

Megan Fitzpatrick, a Hachette spokeswoman, didn’t immediately respond to voice-mail and e-mail messages left after business hours. Craig Berman, an Amazon spokesman, declined to comment.

Hachette, a New York-based unit of French publisher Hachette Livre, includes Grand Central Publishing, Hyperion Books and Little, Brown & Co. Hachette Livre is a subsidiary of Lagardere SCA.

Among the books caught in the latest dispute is the “The Silkworm,” the new novel by J.K. Rowling, writing under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith.

To contact the reporter on this story: Dan Hart in Washington at dahart@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Andrea Snyder at asnyder5@bloomberg.net Bernard Kohn, Nancy Moran

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