Monday, February 01, 2010

Amazon has called "uncle" but the truce is really just the beginning

On Sunday evening, Amazon came to its senses and decided to allow Macmillan to set a price of $12 to $15 for new e-books. As of Monday afternoon, the buy links for Macmillan had not yet been reactivated, though.

The more I read, the less I understand about this issue. There are so many pricing points and percentages and sales models. I have never worked at a bookstore or in a publishing house, so the finer points elude me.

Lots of other people have interesting things to say, though. Here are a few:

Andy Ross in his Ask the Agent blog

1 comment:

Andy Ross said...

There are a lot of issues associated with this little affair. And the issues haven't been resolved. Most publishers have no idea what the future holds with e-books. All they know is that e-books are likely to be the dominant medium at some point in the future.

What this episode really was about was the efforts by publishers to keep Amazon from gaining a monopoly in the distribution of e-books to the book buyer.

This would be a very bad thing for many reasons.

The question of price is always interesting and usually more complicated than it appears. Suffice to say that books cost money to produce, just like any other product. Any business model that doesn't account for those costs is not sustainable.

And any business model that devalues the "worth" of intellectual work (i.e. the work of the writers) is a disgrace.