Saturday, 4 December 2010

Amazon Kindle Macmillan eBook Pricing Issues Amazon Offer a Response: ‘Expressed Our Strong Disagreement’

Just at the end of last week we reported that Amazon had acted to remove
Macmillan books for their Kindle Store and now, as the dispute over
eBook pricing apparently escalates, Amazon have offered a statement
concerning where they stand " and Amazon aren t pulling any punches.
So, if you re new to this, what exactly is the issue? In short,
Macmillan acted to rise the price of its best sellers to $14.99 a pop
and Amazon aren t happy about it (let s be honest here, there s no
paper, no printing costs, what gives?). Amazon are, to their credit,
defending their customers (that is Amazon Kindle owners) is citing the
higher cost as �too high for an eBook (who would say that s not a
valid point?) and have offered the following statement:
Dear Customers:
Macmillan, one of the �big six � publishers, has clearly communicated
to us that, regardless of our viewpoint, they are committed to switching
to an agency model and charging $12.99 to $14.99 for e-book versions of
bestsellers and most hardcover releases.
We have expressed our strong disagreement and the seriousness of our
disagreement by temporarily ceasing the sale of all Macmillan titles. We
want you to know that ultimately, however, we will have to capitulate
and accept Macmillan s terms because Macmillan has a monopoly over their
own titles, and we will want to offer them to you even at prices we
believe are needlessly high for e-books. Amazon customers will at that
point decide for themselves whether they believe it s reasonable to pay
$14.99 for a bestselling e-book. We don t believe that all of the major
publishers will take the same route as Macmillan. And we know for sure
that many independent presses and self-published authors will see this
as an opportunity to provide attractively priced e-books as an alternative.
Kindle is a business for Amazon, and it is also a mission. We never
expected it to be easy!
Thank you for being a customer.
Really, we try to remain on the fence about such disputes, but $14.99
for an eBook? Are Macmillan serious? Macmillan need to get over
themselves and realise that consumers aren t fools. The publishing of an
eBook has markedly less associated overheads than publishing a
�physical book.
Our message to Macmillan is simple. Stop taking the piss, take a reality
check and respect that we, as consumers, a) weren t born yesterday and
b) have long memories.
Your thoughts welcomed.
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