Amazon pulls Macmillan publishing books - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 01-30-2010, 07:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/jack...-skirmish.html

If you want to buy Hilary Mantel's popular, prizewinning "Wolf Hall" from Amazon.com today, you'll be getting it from some third-party vendor. Same for Orson Scott Card's "Hidden Empire" and the Hungry Girl cookbooks. In the place where the Amazon price should be, you'll find only a double dash.

That's because those books are all published by Macmillan, and Amazon has pulled all Macmillan books from its cybershelves.

Apparently the dispute arose from tensions over e-book prices. Amazon likes $9.99 for e-books, but publishers do not....



They didn't just pull the e-books, they also pulled all of MacMillan's sub publishing houses like Tor print books also.
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#2 of 12 Old 01-30-2010, 07:51 PM
 
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Fascinating to see how this turns out.

I cannot understand how a person could say this with a straight face:

Quote:
"I don’t believe that a new book by an author should ipso facto be less expensive electronically than it is in paper format."
Except, of course, it costs less to publish. And you can't share it. And you can't resell it. Change even the last of those two and we'll talk about if it should cost the same as a copy.

Quote:
Bob ******, president and publisher of the foward-thinking HarperStudio, was on Reidy's side. "It only costs us about $2.50 to $3.00 less for us to publish the e-book, not $18.00 less," he said last year. "We need to find the right pricing somewhere between the hardcover list price and the money-losing $9.99 that Amazon is teaching consumers to expect."
The problem being, IMO, how many books are sold at hardcover list price. Borders & B&N generally have up to 40% off new releases. Costco has about that much.

For example, the upcoming James Patterson book has a $27.99 hardcover list price, but is actually selling for $14 on Amazon.com. Sure, $10 is $18 less than the list price but only $4 less than the *actual* price. And that is a hardcover book. Meanwhile, Jodi Picoult's two year old book Keeping Faith is now down to $7.99 for a paperback copy but still is $7.90 for the kindle. Why aren't the publishers demanding that it be priced $2-3 lower than the paperback edition? And with the paperback, you can pass it to any number of people and then turn it in at Half Price books.

 

 

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#3 of 12 Old 01-30-2010, 08:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I think they reason the publishers aren't asking for ebooks to be priced below paperbacks is that most books comeout in hardcover first and paperback a year later. So they depend on the higher profit margins of hardcovers. I guess if we want ebooks to be priced below paperbacks we would have to be willing to wait for the paperback release.
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#4 of 12 Old 01-30-2010, 09:38 PM
 
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That would at least make some sense. Give the hardcover a run and then releace the ebook at the same time as the paper back. People who want the book RIGHT NOW (and I'm sometimes one of those people) can cough up the cash for the hardcover. Those willing to wait can get the paperback or the e-book.

Sort of like how movies have a run in the theaters and then come out on DVD or download.


unless, of course, you find a pirated copy on the net but that's another issue.

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#5 of 12 Old 01-30-2010, 09:39 PM
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I agree with you, Ard. I think that it would be fair to release ebooks at a later date is publishers are expected to take a lower price for them. First release is a premium thing, and I don't think it is unrealistic that you pay more. Movies don't accept passes or other discounts for the first couple weeks of movie runs...

I think that Amazon gets money due to its low price points all around, but I don't like the idea of them pulling stuff to bully the publisher...I will be interested to see how it turns out.

ETA - Rhiannon and I said the same thing!

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#6 of 12 Old 01-30-2010, 10:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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more news out on this

http://www.publishersmarketplace.com/lunch/free/

excerpt

To: All Macmillan authors/illustrators and the literary agent community
From: John Sargent

This past Thursday I met with Amazon in Seattle. I gave them our proposal for new terms of sale for e books under the agency model which will become effective in early March. In addition, I told them they could stay with their old terms of sale, but that this would involve extensive and deep windowing of titles. By the time I arrived back in New York late yesterday afternoon they informed me that they were taking all our books off the Kindle site, and off Amazon. The books will continue to be available on Amazon.com through third parties.

Under the agency model, we will sell the digital editions of our books to consumers through our retailers. Our retailers will act as our agents and will take a 30% commission (the standard split today for many digital media businesses). The price will be set the price for each book individually. Our plan is to price the digital edition of most adult trade books in a price range from $14.99 to $5.99. At first release, concurrent with a hardcover, most titles will be priced between $14.99 and $12.99. E books will almost always appear day on date with the physical edition. Pricing will be dynamic over time.
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#7 of 12 Old 01-30-2010, 11:42 PM
 
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Well I think a premium slightly higher rate for new books would be ok. If I want to buy a new CD it is usually a bit more than older ones.

I don't think I would pay $15 for an ebook. The only books I pay $15 are those trade paperbacks because I like that size, or graphic novels. I *rarely* buy hardbacks, not unless it is in a series and I am dying to read it...it matches my other books from the series anyways.

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#8 of 12 Old 01-31-2010, 03:36 PM
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Yeah, I think there is a middle ground there. I don't begrudge them a slightly higher rate for new releases, but I also don't want to pay full hardback price for an ebook.

Interesting all around, and frustrating. Though, I suppose, not unexpected, all moves to digital are contentious...so, there is bound to be some hashing out in the book market too.

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#9 of 12 Old 01-31-2010, 07:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well that was quick, it's over.

From the Amazon website

We have expressed our strong disagreement and the seriousness of our disagreement by temporarily ceasing the sale of all Macmillan titles. We want you to know that ultimately, however, we will have to capitulate and accept Macmillan's terms
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#10 of 12 Old 01-31-2010, 08:12 PM
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Wow, that was quick.

DH was reading me this article...which I found interesting.

http://www.antipope.org/charlie/blog...outsiders.html

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#11 of 12 Old 01-31-2010, 08:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It was interesting, but Charlie apparently was over confidant with his assertion that "Amazon are going to fight this one ruthlessly"

They caved in what? 2 days.
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#12 of 12 Old 01-31-2010, 08:48 PM
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Yeah, well, you know, can't win 'em all. I thought it would go one for longer too.

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