Authors United is being "forced to move on to our next initiative" because of Amazon's continued dispute with Hachette, the Bookseller reported, noting that in his most recent letter to authors, Douglas Preston said he hoped Amazon would not "start targeting" Simon & Schuster, with which it has recently entered negotiations.
"Amazon is continuing to sanction books: 2,500 Hachette authors and over 7,000 titles have now apparently been affected," Preston wrote. "Hachette authors have seen their sales at Amazon decline at least 50% and in many cases as much as 90%. This has been going on for six months and it has been particularly damaging to struggling debut and midlist authors."
Noting that Amazon has been "falsely" trying to portray Authors United as a group of "rich authors who are seeking higher e-book prices, while it is fighting on behalf of the consumer for lower prices," Preston added: "Unfortunately, some media outlets have bought this Amazon disinformation campaign. We have not, of course, made any statements whatsoever on book pricing. Our point is simple: we believe it is unacceptable for Amazon to sanction books as a negotiating tactic. Amazon has other negotiating tools at its disposal than harming the very authors who helped it become one of the largest retailers in the world. Amazon could stop the sanctions tomorrow while continuing to negotiate with Hachette."
Last week, Preston told BBC Radio 4's The Report that the group's next step would be a "very unpleasant surprise" for Amazon