Authors Guild Digs In

Despite receiving more than 4,000 e-mails telling it to back off its position against aggressively marketing its used-book service, the Authors Guild is sticking to its guns, according to executive director Paul Aiken.

“We never expected to win over the used book sellers at This hasn't changed our position,” Aiken said, adding that the response was not a surprise given the vastness of Amazon's customer base.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos sent an e-mail to “tens of thousands”of customers who have sold used books on the site defending the service, and asking recipients to send e-mail to the Authors Guild asking it to back off, according to spokesman Bill Curry.

Bezos' e-mail was the latest shot in an ongoing battle with the Authors Guild over Amazon's selling used books on the same Web page at the same time as new releases.

Previously, the Authors Guild sent an e-mail to 5,000 of its 8,200 members calling on those who have Web sites to remove links to Amazon's affiliate program.

“Amazon's practice does damage to the publishing industry, decreasing royalty payments to authors and profits to publishers,” the guild said.

The guild claims it is not demanding that Amazon stop selling used books. It is asking Amazon to sell used books on a separate section of the site.

However, Bezos countered, “Why would any company that cares about customers bury or hide a service that customers find valuable?”

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