January 30, 2010

HERE’S MORE ON THAT Amazon vs. MacMillan Kindle-book Price Dispute. “Macmillan CEO John Sargent said he was told Friday that its books would be removed from Amazon.com, as would e-books for Amazon’s Kindle e-reader. Books will be available on Amazon.com through private sellers and other third parties, Sargent said. . . . Macmillan and other publishers have criticized Amazon for charging just $9.99 for best-selling e-books on its Kindle e-reader, a price publishers say is too low and could hurt hardcover sales.” So is Amazon being a bully here, or standing up for consumers?

UPDATE: Reader (and author) C.J. Burch emails: “No sympathy for publishers from me.” Well, many authors view publishers this way, but on the other hand, royalties are computed based on price, so . . . .

On the other hand, many authors feel that the publishers kinda fail to pass along as much as they should.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Eric Klien writes: “Amazon is being a Walmart-type bully and trying to get the best possible deals for its customers.”

MORE: A reader emails: “I only read Kindle books now. However, I refuse to pay more than $9.99/book. Despite the publisher’s ‘listed price’ of $24, bestsellers on Amazon typically cost $13-15. I’ve seen Kindle versions cost more than the hardcover yet there is no material costs and the delivery model should cost less. Is the publisher even paying the delivery costs for e-books? Is anyone paying the listed price for a book these days?”

I’ve heard that Amazon doesn’t really make any money on Kindle books. If that’s so, then the publishers should be making out like bandits at these prices, but I confess the whole model isn’t clear to me. Or to others, it seems.