Apparently there is a spat between MacMillan (the publisher) and Amazon over Amazon's pricing of Kindle books. According to reports, Macmillan is unhappy with the 9.99 price Amazon is pushing for the max ebook price. The forthcoming iBooks store from Apple will allow publishers to set their own price, which is rumored to be more like 12.99 and 14.99. Good luck with that, publishers! First you are going to charge more for books in the iBooks store, and to top it off, you will be using a proprietary epub DRM that locks your books to the Apple i-devices. One of the reasons I mention this news here, is because Tor books is owned (I believe) by Macmillan. At the moment, you cannot buy ANY Tor books from Amazon. And not just the Kindle...physical books have also been pulled. You can still buy them from the Amazon resellers, but not from Amazon itself. Should be interesting to see how long this lasts. So, don't look to buy books from Robert Jordan, Kate Elliott, Brandon Sanderson, L.E. Modesitt, Jr, etc.
While I know both companies want to make money, I am hoping Amazon wins this one. I guess publisher's haven't realized that folks that buy ebooks, on average, but a lot of ebooks. And in many cases, buy more ebooks than they would physical books. I might be in the minority, but I think pricing books at 9.99 will make the publishers MORE money in the long run, as it will enable people like me who like to read and buy books, to afford to buy more books.
Another point: if I have 30 bucks for books in a month, is it better for the publisher if I buy 1 book with that money (a hardcover), or 3 ebooks? Maybe in the end they get the same net amount, but doesn't the 3 book purchase help authors more, since I gave sales to 3 authors instead of 1? So if publishers are really looking to help authors like they claim, wouldn't pricing to boost volume (and hence more total books sold) be a better policy? Or am I just simplifying things too much?
Finally, the ironic thing about this situation is that Tor ebooks were the most expensive fantasy books in the Kindle store. Other than a few exceptions, Tor ebooks were not priced at 9.99 for new hardcover releases...they were more like 14-16 bucks each...the price Macmillan wants is the price Amazon was using. Its also the reason I haven't been reading as many Tor books lately..their ebook prices are the highest of the fantasy publishers. And its too bad, as I really like a LOT of the Tor authors (and the Tor reps I've talked to via email are always very nice and helpful).
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