January 30, 2010

Amazon throwing its weight around

It's just pulled all Macmillan books from its website, citing differences over the pricing of e-Books.

Lots of discussion at Making Light, including links to John Scalzi's thoughts and a letter from Macmillan's CEO.

Amazon's getting awfully high-handed here; I think I'll switch to Powell's and Borders once my last order clears.

Posted by Linkmeister at January 30, 2010 03:31 PM | TrackBack

On the other hand, as someone noted at Making Light, who is going to pay twice the price of a paperback for an ebook? That sounds like an exorbitant price for something that you can't even own like an actual book because of the DRM. So you have one huge corporation sticking it to authors because another huge corporation wants to stick it to consumers (apparently because a third huge corporation (Apple) wants to stick it to the first corporation.

Posted by: DXMachina at January 30, 2010 06:29 PM

Pish posh. I just lost my first entry here so if it somehow makes it through the cyberjungle, please delete this one or the other, I don't care.
The NY Times article implies that the issue is one of price control. Another article I read makes it seem that the it is an issue of exclusivity...I wonder what the story really is all about.

If the issue is one of price control....I have to stand in amazon's corner on this one. I can understand their need to keep ebook costs low...competition is increasing in this genre and amazon promotes the sale of kindle by featuring the 9.99 cost of most books. Publication costs for ebooks are extremely low...and once it's in ebook format, pure profit. Macmillan can only be seen as greedy in this case and like DXMachina writes above, only the consumer gets stuck. Why not let the market decide the acceptable cost for ebooks?

If the issue is exclusivity...then I'm with macmillan...they should be able to see with any bookseller they want to but they should allow the seller to set the price.

And, I predict that macmillan will be back. How can they afford not to list their publications with the world's biggest bookstore.

This whole episode has turned me off to the I-Pad as an ebook reader. I didn't realize until now that the ebooks sold by apple were going to be so expensive and I won't be buying ebooks from them because of it. Ebooks should be significantly cheaper than a book.

Posted by: Karan at January 31, 2010 09:32 AM

besides...how else can Amazon clearly demonstrate to macmillan how much impact they have on their sales?

Posted by: Karan at January 31, 2010 11:45 AM

I awoke to the news that I'll never be an economist. Macmillan wins, Amazon loses, so do Kindle owners.

Posted by: Karan at February 1, 2010 05:47 AM

Major distributors don't need to show publishers "how much impact they have on their sales." Publishers are acutely aware of it. That's why it's so rare to see publishers fighting back, even when distributors are clearly over the line: there's not a lot of appeal in proving that you're right if you go broke and shut down while you're proving it.

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Posted by: BernieR at February 3, 2010 10:31 PM