Amazon.com Pulls Macmillan Books From Its "Shelves" - HotHardware
Amazon.com Pulls Macmillan Books From Its "Shelves"

Amazon.com Pulls Macmillan Books From Its "Shelves"

In the wake of Apple's announcement of the iPad, comes the first salvo in what is probably going to be a drawn out battle. Amazon.com has pulled books published by Macmillan, electronic or not, from its site.
Search for authors available from Macmillan, and with the exception, it seems, of library-bound or "bargain books," you won't find Amazon.com pricing for them. You'll find them at "other sellers," but not Amazon.com.  You can see it in the above image for Robert Jordan's "Knife of Dreams." 

Why would Amazon.com do this? It would seem this is hardly in the best interest of customers, and definitely not in the best interest of the site. Well, according to the New York Times, it's all about e-book pricing.

According to their report, Macmillan, like other publishers wants Amazon.com to raise its price for e-books from $9.99 to about $15.
Macmillan offered Amazon the opportunity to buy Kindle editions on the same “agency” model as it will sell e-books to Apple for the iPad. Under this model, the publisher sets the consumer book price and takes 70 percent of each sale, leaving 30 percent to the retailer. Macmillan said Amazon could continue to buy e-books under its current wholesale model, paying the publisher 50 percent of the hardcover list price while pricing the e-book at any level Amazon chooses, but that Macmillan would delay those e-book editions by seven months after hardcover release. Amazon’s removal of Macmillan titles on Friday appears to be a direct reaction to that.
It appears the iPad has already made waves in the e-book market, without even being released. Currently Amazon.com is the big player in e-book sellers, but it's clear that analysts as well as publishers feel that might change once the iPad arrives. This was obviously an attempt by Macmillan to leverage the iPad's and iBooks' upcoming arrivals.

Since Amazon.com currently owns the lion's share of e-books, this just feels like an iTunes-like battle, similar to when music and other content providers tried to get Apple to change its pricing as well.

It the source is correct, Macmillan and other publishers want Amazon.com to raise the price on its e-books from $9.99 to $15. With Apple's iBook store coming, Amazon.com will have some solid competition. However, $15 for an electronic version seems, to be honest, highway robbery. How much, after all, does it cost to print an e-book?

On the other hand, since Apple announced that one of the price points for iBooks would be $15, one can see how much nicer it would be for Apple if Amazon.com's price advantage vanished. Although Amazon MP3 had a price advantage for a while over iTunes, as well as DRM-free music, $5 resonates much more with consumers.

This isn't over, by a long shot.
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I agree, this is just getting started. Amazon is set to open the Kindle App Store soon. I can understand publishers are missing out of the "hardcover" revenue by agreeing to the flat $10 price.

But I see why Amazon is reluctant to change the cost. Amazon e-books have become known for their price point. If they allow Macmillans leeway, other publishers may follow suit and we may eventually see a hodge podge of different e-book prices. The confusion would drive away customers and lessen the value of Kindle and other e-readers.

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This actually makes no sense. How do you raise the price of an e-book. Think about it they require no deliverable. No cover no printing no pages. So s publisher who sells right to an E-book basically just sit's back and collects money. You can buy a paperback for less than 15 dollars, which is the same book with deliverable's.

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True, but you can buy a paperback for less than $10 as well. The publishers are just upset that they have no way of making extra money off hardcover editions. If you look at what Amazon is proposing, it's aimed at keep e-book prices lower than retail prices for the book.

They've offered authors and publishers a 70% cut of the sale, so they can now make $6.25 a sale under the new model, vs $3.15 in the older model. However, this deal only applies to book in the $2.99 - $9.99 range, and the list price much be 20% below the book price....and it must allow text-to-speech.

This is the way Amazon aims to compete against Apple iTunes store, by undercutting them on prices. This competition is great for the consumer as well as the publishers/authors.

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I have to wonder, given its history, whether Amazon remotely deleted Macmillan books from Kindles?

All of this is mattering naught to me. The only books I'm interested in are classics and reference books-- the former are most always free, the latter are worth whatever you pay for them.

It does seem that Amazon is shooting itself in the foot (its virtual foot, of course, using a BFG-1000). As others have pointed out, this is an effortless sale that garners $4.50 for pretty much taking up a few megabytes on a server somewhere. Not that it's a loss at all, but are they pulling their "Kindle for the iPhone" from the App Store as well?

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Intersting point/question about the iPhone kindle app Clem.

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Is this just the e-book/kindle versions? I'm glad I had pre-ordered my copy of the newest Wheel of Time book and got it already.

I like reading real books, but I haven't tested out a kindle or nook yet (my local B&N's never has a nook for trying) to see how using an e-reader is like.

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From what I understodd it was all but that makes no sense so it must be just there e-books.

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