Almost a week since my last post, and I've been quiet through the entire Amazon/Macmillan debacle... dear, dear. To recap for those of you who missed it, the e-book pricing war seems to have come to a head this weekend, when publisher Macmillan proposed a new pricing structure for e-books to Amazon, and Amazon responded by removing all Macmillan titles - e-books and p-books - from the Amazon listings. They also removed any Macmillan title from users' wishlists, and deleted sample chapters downloaded onto Kindles.

Needless to say, customers were... not happy. But interestingly enough, some customers were unhappy with Macmillan, calling them the bully, claiming that they are forcing Amazon into an agreement Amazon should not be required to participate in. Well, it seems to me that Amazon forced the issue with their absurdly monopolistic reaction, and as Macmillan owns their books, they should be able to set the prices for the books... not Amazon.

As of this morning, Amazon had capitulated, stating that they would have to give in to Macmillan's demands, and that the customer would pay the price with e-books now priced between $12.99 to $15.99. What Amazon failed to mention to the victimized-scandalized-customer, however, is that Amazon now makes 30% more on the sale of each e-book, and that prices will eventually fall to as low as $7.99 for e-books, following the hardcover to paperback pricing model. Amazon has also been a bit misleading in implying that all Kindle books are priced at $9.99 -- this is blatantly not the case, and Macmillan books will not be the only ones priced above the $10 price point.

Despite the capitulations, however, Amazon has still failed to re-list Macmillan's titles.

For more coverage (it's fascinating, really, if you have a few minutes), check out the round-up below:

Personally, I don't think it's a coincidence that this all came just days after Apple announced a new e-book reader, effectively threatening Amazon's iron grasp of the e-book industry. Thoughts?


  1. These are interesting times. I bet many major players will be renegotiating rates with Amazon. Not sure we'll see activity like this but we will see more clashing of the titans. I'm watching like a hawk.

  2. Did you see today's PW? Look's like HarperCollins (News Group) is next...


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