Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Amazon Books Editorial Director Quits as Hachette Mess Eats Away at Online Seller


Amazon Books editorial director Julia Cheiffetz has resigned. She let it out on Twitter yesterday, and I spotted it in the New York Observer. No one else seems to have caught on:

Even the Observer didn’t notice this post from Cheiffetz on Twitter from a week ago:


Last fall, Larry Kirshbaum, formerly the long time head of Warner Books, left Amazon as editorial director after his books failed and he was sued for sexual harrassment by a former lover.

Amazon clearly is not a nice place to work if you’re publishing books. The company is also locked in a very public, noisy, and vindictive brawl with Hachette Publishing over fees. Amazon — as everyone knows by now– has retaliated against Hachette authors by slowing delivery of their books to customers. They’ve also made it hard to buy them at all.

Today the New York Times reports that Amazon is trying to make deals directly with authors in order to squeeze out Hachette. But the authors are loyal to their publishing companies. Amazon doesn’t get that. In the end, authors will always side with their publishers. That’s their family, for better or worse. Amazon is an interloper.

It’s unclear whether Cheiffetz’s resignation is tied to the Hachette mess. But it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize the longer she stayed with Amazon, the less likely she’d find welcoming arms at publishers if she needed a new job.

As long as Barnes & Noble is still semi-in business, I don’t know why they don’t take advantage of this situation. Before Amazon existed, B&N was the Death Star of publishing. Now they’re an underdog. Get up, B&N! Fight! Yo, Adrienne!

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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