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Game On: Amazon Removes the Buy Button for All Macmillan Books

Lisa Kleypas Amazon page

Louisa Edwards screenshot

On Friday, blogs noted an exchange between Walt Mossberg and Steve Jobs about ebooks.   Steve told Walt that publishers hate Amazon and that they would be withholding their ebooks from Amazon.   Late Friday, the “buy it now” button has disappeared from books by Julia Spencer Fleming, Lisa Kleypas, Louisa Edwards, Lora Leigh, and virtually every author who publishes through Tor, St. Martin’s Press, and other Macmillan imprints.

A fight occurred between Hachette and Amazon in 2008 in the UK.   Hachette wasn’t happy with some of the terms that Amazon wanted (or so was reported) and thus Amazon removed the Buy It Now button. The dispute was settled and the Buy It Now button restored.

The reason that this hurts the publisher is because the only option that is available to readers is through the secondary market.   Consumers who want the print version can easily get the title from a secondary seller, both in new and used versions.   But the secondary market means no royalty for the publisher or the author.   One publisher person told me that Amazon could comprise up to 15% of sales which, for a publisher, could mean the different between a profitable year and a non profitable one.

John Sargeant, CEO of Macmillan, is not an ebook fan.

But some publishers worry that the convenience of borrowing books electronically could ultimately cut into sales of print editions.

"I don't have to get in my car, go to the library, look at the book, check it out," said John Sargent, chief executive of Macmillan, which publishes authors like  Janet Evanovich,Augusten Burroughs and  Jeffrey Eugenides. "Instead, I'm sitting in the comfort of my living room and can say, "Oh, that looks interesting' and download it."

As digital collections grow, Mr. Sargent said he feared a world in which "pretty soon you're not paying for anything." Partly because of such concerns, Macmillan does not allow its e-books to be offered in public libraries.

Macmillan has had a very negative attitude toward ebooks.   It has charged 50% more for the digital equivalent of the mass market paperback (usually $9.99 versus a paper copy which sells for $6.99-$7.99). In this link, the list price is $14.00 for a mass market.   It delays the release of ebooks. Some books aren’t released in ebook format at all (Tor books).   Prices of ebooks aren’t reduced even after the mass market versions are released. (I still await Julia Spencer-Fleming’s books to be reduced).

What will Kindle owners do? Will they blame Amazon? Will Amazon tell them that Amazon wants to sell them the book at a good price but that the publisher is demanding that Amazon raise the price? This is a serious battle and I can’t guess who will win.

UPDATE: I called customer support at Amazon and was told that if the Kindle version of the book was removed it was either because there was an error in the book or the publisher removed it.   Amazon would make it available to Kindle owners if it could.   I was told to click the “Tell the Publisher” button so that Amazon could relate to the publisher how many Kindle readers would like the book in Kindle format.

I asked about the missing “Buy It Now” button and asked if Amazon was in some dispute with Macmillan.   I was told that sometimes Amazon likes to promote the Amazon Marketplace.

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Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

151 Comments

  1. Michael
    Jan 29, 2010 @ 22:43:37

    Did MacMillan actually pull any Kindle books, or is this just Amazon reacting to something Steve Jobs says the publishers want to do?

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  2. Jane
    Jan 29, 2010 @ 22:48:05

    @Michael That’s a good point. I changed the title. I don’t think, though, that Amazon has chosen Macmillan just randomly. If it was in response to Jobs statements, why punish just one publisher?

    ReplyReply

  3. lorenet
    Jan 29, 2010 @ 22:53:41

    I know Amazon is still a business, but why do I get the feeling that they are the only ones on the side of the READER in this battle?

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  4. Michael
    Jan 29, 2010 @ 22:59:42

    @Jane Thanks for clarifying. It does seem odd that they’d choose just Macmillan, though I guess doing it too all of the publishers Job is talking with might have been too much.

    @lorenet On the side of the readers by not being on the side of the writers?

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  5. Tina M
    Jan 29, 2010 @ 23:02:33

    I have several books not available anymore (specifically, Kenyon’s books) and there are few more missing. They are available for purchase through B&N and Sony, but I would prefer to get them at the lower price which would be B&N right now.

    If the books I’m missing are part of this stupidity, I’ll just rent them or get them cheaper elsewhere.

    Ridiculous!!!!

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  6. lorenet
    Jan 29, 2010 @ 23:04:11

    @Michael I mean not on the side of the pulishers.

    ReplyReply

  7. Jane
    Jan 29, 2010 @ 23:05:22

    @Michael I think readers believe that Amazon is on their side because publishers have been very open that they want to drive up the price of ebooks. Readers think that Kindle prices are probably just right given that there is no return, resale, or trading allowed.

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  8. Jane
    Jan 29, 2010 @ 23:05:43

    @Tina M Tina – does that mean you bought SMP books and they are not available to you anymore?

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  9. Sunita
    Jan 29, 2010 @ 23:05:47

    The NYT’s Bits blog has a post:

    http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/01/29/amazon-pulls-macmillan-books-over-e-book-price-disagreement/?hp

    ETA: The post raises more questions than it answers.

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  10. Tina M.
    Jan 29, 2010 @ 23:08:52

    @Jane: Well, I noticed my wishlisted books for Kindle are no longer available so I clicked on the title and found only a handful of her books available for Kindle. On Amazon’s thread, another poster noted St. Martin’s books are not available either.

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  11. Jane
    Jan 29, 2010 @ 23:10:02

    @Tina M. I just wondered if you had bought an SMP Kindle title and it has disappeared. I am looking through my Kindle purchases and don’t see one SMP book there. I am trying to figure out if I am missing any titles that I have actually purchased.

    ReplyReply

  12. Tina M.
    Jan 29, 2010 @ 23:11:47

    @Jane: I had only purchased four books from the series and I still have those, but that’s all.

    ReplyReply

  13. Jane
    Jan 29, 2010 @ 23:13:56

    @Tina M. I’m of the opinion that this is Macmillan’s doing because Macmillan president HATES ebooks. He thinks the only legitimate consumer is the one who puts on a coat and buys retail. Will find the link for that interview.

    Here is the interview: NYTimes

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  14. Tina M.
    Jan 29, 2010 @ 23:14:06

    @Tina M.: To clarify my last post, the previously purchased titles have not been removed. I hope they don’t do that.

    I’ve read some articles about MacMillan and that’s what prompted me to check my wishlist and I discovered the removal of Sherrilyn Kenyon’s books. I can’t say this is part of the controversy, but it is interesting that it happened today.

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  15. Keishon
    Jan 29, 2010 @ 23:24:43

    I still have all of my Kindle purchases which consists only of Ken Bruen’s ebooks and that’s because everywhere else his ebooks were selling for $12.60 or more at Sony or Fictionwise. Amazon had majority of his titles at cheaper cost. In some cases, Amazon was the only place that had a digital copy available, period.

    Will see how long this drags out.

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  16. becca
    Jan 29, 2010 @ 23:27:25

    all of this is making me very glad I’m not into ebooks yet (or maybe, ever). I certainly will never pay more for an ebook than I would for the book in paper – especially not one that was so DRM’d as to be unusable.

    ReplyReply

  17. Kindle owners: Caught in the middle? « SisterGoldenBlog
    Jan 29, 2010 @ 23:44:36

    [...] over the price point of ebooks that Amazon has started removing Macmillan books from their site (see screen prints Jane posted at Dear Author). And not just ebooks, folks. Amazon has pulled the Kindle files AND pulled down the ‘Buy It [...]

  18. Natasha (Wicked Lil Pixie)
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 00:01:46

    I did some investigatin and found that you can still buy the St. Marten’s books via Amazon.CA Canada site!

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  19. Ridley
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 00:37:58

    I won’t lie – I just stopped reading SMP pubbed books entirely around the time Tempt Me at Twilight was overpriced at $14.99.

    There are so many other publishers out there, I’m not hurting for new books to read. I’ll miss Kleypas, but that’s about it.

    I’m not even a Kindle owner. I’m one of the half-dozen Sony owners out there. Regardless, I do not read fiction in paper any more. If the ebook version is withheld or overpriced, I just won’t read the book at all.

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  20. Maili
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 01:27:12

    @becca:

    I have an impression that both digital AND print McM books can’t be purchased through Amazon.com at the moment.

    In short, readers who use Amazon to buy print books – hardback or paperback – are affected by this alleged dispute as well, because an option to buy these is gone.

    The only editions that don’t seem to be affected by any of this are Audio book and Large Print (which makes sense).

    One can buy a print mm or hb, through Amazon, from non-Amazon booksellers. This has to be hurting McM and its authors, though.

    ReplyReply

  21. Maili
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 01:33:18

    @Ridley:

    Regardless, I do not read fiction in paper any more. If the ebook version is withheld or overpriced, I just won't read the book at all.

    That’s my stance as well. Only print books I buy nowadays are children’s books and graphic novels.

    (Sorry for cluttering up this thread with another response. I couldn’t edit it into the response above.)

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  22. liz m
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 01:39:23

    Thirding Ridley & Maili. Since I got burned on the Kleypas I’ve been more careful about price checking. I have a list of 12 books since then I won’t be buying either for lack of e-book or overpricing. (The resissue of Believe at a premium price? Really? Uh – no.)

    I feel sorry for authors caught up with this publisher.

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  23. Rebyj
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 01:45:23

    I’m just glad I’ve not dropped hundreds of dollars on an e-reader. If the market is so unstable that the biggest retailer of ebooks can just stop selling ebooks from some publisher that pisses them off Or vice versa then my $ investment is better put in some other form of entertainment whose access isn’t so easily denied to me.

    ReplyReply

  24. Mary Winter
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 04:13:04

    I’m not an attorney and this is somewhat a different issue that boils down to the same thing (Amazon removing buy buttons because publishers wouldn’t kowtow to their demands.), but considering that they just settled the Booklocker lawsuit with prejudice for removing POD publisher buy buttons because they wouldn’t switch over to Createspace, it seems to me that Amazon.com is on shaky ground with this action.

    ReplyReply

  25. Bonnie
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 05:38:12

    I just checked and all my previously purchased Kleypas books are still on my Kindle.

    Wow, this whole this thing is so disturbing.

    ReplyReply

  26. RRRJessica
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 06:36:01

    As a Kindle owner, this is terrifying. But I just went to Amazon and see a “BUY” button for all the Kleypas books.

    In fact, just to test it, as a public service, and not because I wanted to buy a book before I’ve even had my first cup of coffee, I just used the “Buy Now with 1-click” successfully for When Strangers Marry by Kleypas (only $2.90!)

    As for taking books OFF people’s Kindles, I doubt it.

    Look, when Apple debuted the iPod they made it clear they wanted everyone to buy their music from them and, although I love my iPod, you have to admit they destroyed the album in the process, among other things.

    Now that they have debuted the iPad which they see — wrongly, IMO — as a direct competitor to e-ink readers –they will do everything in their power to bring iPad readers to the content on their site.

    ReplyReply

  27. GrowlyCub
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 06:45:15

    I usually enjoy Scalzi’s take on what’s going on but he’s totally off his rocker on this one. See his reply to Geoffrey Kincaid in comment 84.

    I stopped buying at Amazon because I didn’t like their big brother practices, but I have to say that I hope Amazon wins this one. Macmillan is clearly gouging readers with their insane e-book pricing.

    I’m with others above. I don’t buy e-books at inflated prices, which means authors are missing out, big time, because their publishers suck!

    ReplyReply

  28. Bonnie
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 06:47:40

    @RRRJessica:
    I just looked and none of Kleypas’ Travis series is available on Kindle and none have a “buy” button.

    I didn’t check every book, but many of the books I purchased on Kindle are no longer available for Kindle at this time.

    Weird.

    ReplyReply

  29. jmc
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 07:21:43

    @RRRJessica: When Strangers Marry is a Harper Collins book, though, not MacMillan, so it wouldn’t be part of this. I’m guessing Kleypas switched publishers at some point? Her MacMillan/St. Martin’s Press (Hathaway series, Travis series) books are not available in Kindle and are not buy-able except from independent sellersr when I search.

    ReplyReply

  30. Julia Spencer-Fleming
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 07:22:03

    Christ on a bicycle.

    P.S. Sorry about the ebook pricing. I don’t pay $15.99 for ebooks and I don’t expect you to, either.

    ReplyReply

  31. DS
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 07:50:01

    Used book sellers on Amazon are going to be ecstatic. Amazon makes more money from a marketplace sale than a new sale– or at least they used to, I can’t find the current information on the cut Amazon takes from the shipping amount paid by the buyer but used to be about a third.

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  32. katiebabs
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 08:01:25

    How damaging is this really for Macmiillan? I heard that barely 10% of books are purchased at Amazon and the majority of the public who buy at Amazon, mainly purchase other products there, so perhaps Amazon is making it seem they hold all the cards when it comes to the publishing industry and really don’t.

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  33. Jane
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 08:09:54

    @katiebabs 10% could mean the difference between a profitable year and a non profitable year.

    ReplyReply

  34. Jane
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 08:10:40

    @Julia Spencer-Fleming I feel a little like a kid in a bad divorce. I suspect authors might feel like that. Helpless, hurt, angry, not sure who is to blame.

    ReplyReply

  35. Jane
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 08:16:59

    @GrowlyCub I think author’s believe it’s in the best interest to preserve a higher price model, particularly a hardcover author like Scalzi. I also see a lot of anti Amazon sentiment with authors.

    ReplyReply

  36. theo
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 08:17:29

    I’m fortunate that I have a B&N store close. If I want a book, I call, they order it, I pick it up usually the next day and while I’m there, I have a cup of coffee, maybe a muffin, read the paper…

    All of that is to say, as far as a ‘seller’ goes, I don’t need Amazon. I have a prime membership which is nice when I want a single title, but will most likely let that lapse. If B&N would do that same thing instead of the $25 minimum, I’d never buy from Amazon again.

    Whether they are in a dispute with a publisher or not, Amazon is acting like a small child who is pissed at the one they’ve been playing happily with for hours because they got pinched. So they’re stomping their foot, shoving their lower lip out to pout, picking up their toys so no one else can play anymore either, and going home.

    What kind of a business practice is that?

    I’m not saying either entity is right or wrong. What’s wrong is the dramatic way they feel they have to handle this.

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  37. TheOctopusGallery
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 08:20:03

    @DS: Amazon actually takes a cut of the sale price for the Marketplace used titles. It’s a flat fee plus a percentage of the sale price, although I can’t remember exactly what the numbers are at the moment. Sort of like how Paypal sets up their fees. I find that for anything priced under about $5, I lose money after fees because I’m mostly selling expensive to ship hardcovers. The shipping amount charged is credited to the seller for the cost of shipping the book and it’s a standard $3.99 for all books, regardless of size.

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  38. Julia Spencer-Fleming
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 08:22:13

    @jane Right now, it feels more like getting @#$%ed from behind while Toby Keith sings “Who’s Your Daddy?”

    @katiebabs I was given to understand, from my publisher, that Amazon sales now count toward the NYT Bestsellers list. Pre-orders, which are tallied as first-week sales, are particularly valuable, since the list is all about velocity.

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  39. Has
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 08:26:53

    Bookstores like The Book Depository will also gain from this but they are also entering the ebook market too. I wonder how they are going to structure their ebook pricing especially since they like to underprice books from amazon.

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  40. GrowlyCub
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 08:28:06

    @Jane:

    I’m anti-Amazon too, but I found his remarks to the commenter rude and less than smart.

    Sure, if I were an author I’d like to squeeze the max out of my readers, too, but maybe, just maybe it would be prudent not to tell them they don’t get it; after all, they are the ones opening their purses…

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  41. Courtney Milan
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 08:32:34

    Here’s a thought, Macmillan/Amazon:

    Why don’t you make TWO different versions of the book available?

    1. Non-DRMed version, which is nondeletable/capable of backup, available at the higher price point.

    2. The crappy old DRMed version, available at $9.99.

    One of the reasons why you get this $9.99 debate is that ebooks are sold in such crippled format that you would have to be bonkers to spend $34.99 for an ebook.

    But Amazon is unwilling to bend on the DRMed version (see this post by Cory Doctorow). Amazon is so weird about this that back when I downloaded (legally) my first Cory Doctorow book (Little Brother), and sent it to my Kindle account, Amazon kept telling me it was unable to convert the file. I tried copying and pasting content into a new file. I tried five different formats. I tried EVERYTHING.

    Amazon just plain wouldn’t convert it until I deleted the pages in the front of the book identifying the book.

    So, I understand that Amazon has “consumer rights” on their mind. But it would be nice if Amazon was willing to have a debate about consumer rights other than a $9.99 price point.

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  42. Jane
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 08:35:23

    @Courtney Milan Amazon is allowing pubs to sell books without DRM. O’Reilly sells all of its books at Amazon without DRM and there is a new feature that allows you to choose DRM or no DRM. I’m not sure what Doctorow is talking about.

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  43. Lyn
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 08:40:55

    @Bonnie: I checked Kleypas’s Wallflowers and some other of her books and they are still available in both paperback new and used as well as Kindle format along with the majority of her other books.

    The Hathaways, Travis, and a few others are available as Used but the Kindle link is dead in the water.

    Think they’re trying to making a point?

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  44. Courtney Milan
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 08:44:16

    @Jane: That still doesn’t answer why Amazon somehow “couldn’t” convert my legally-obtained copy of Cory Doctorow’s Little Brother, in either HTML or plain text format.

    And whether or not it’s a DRM-free format, the Amazon license specifically says you’re only allowed to use it on their device. A non-DRM free format without the accompanying right to view it on a Sony Reader isn’t worth anything.

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  45. DS
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 08:45:11

    @TheOctopusGallery: I remember all the arguments about penny sellers way back when, which is why my information is out of date. I haven’t followed it since then.

    I was googling around and found this web site about book sales from the online biggies, but I have no idea how reliable it is: http://www.fonerbooks.com/booksale.htm

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  46. Julia Spencer-Fleming
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 08:46:29

    @Lyn: Kleypas’s Wallflowers series is in mm from Avon, not Macmillan.

    ReplyReply

  47. Jane
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 08:47:08

    @Courtney Milan I don’t know but it sounds like an issue that is more related to a technical fail than one designed to specifically exclude non DRMed ebooks

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  48. Jane
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 08:48:10

    @Lyn You can buy the books from a secondary seller on Amazon but there is no “Buy It Now” button.

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  49. Maria E. Schneider
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 08:49:06

    That is completely incredible. I’ll check the Amazon Kindle forums this morning, but in general the Kindle users are pretty educated on events–they aren’t going to blame Amazon when Amazon has been so careful about customer service–unless they find some proof that Amazon is actually behind it.

    My guess is that Amazon isn’t the instigator. They’ve done everything they can to get MORE books on their site, including letting Indie authors publish. I’d find it hard to believe that they’d pull book links/buttons just over a news conference statement.

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  50. Jennifer Leeland
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 08:50:13

    I doubt very much that savvy authors are in favor of higher pricing for ebooks.
    I still remember the arguments from some best selling authors that ebooks were a “minuscule part of their sales” so they viewed the whole thing with a shrug of their shoulders.
    But with the explosion of Kindle and other ereaders, it’s clear this isn’t the last time we’ll see a fight about pricing.
    Though I understand Amazon’s stance, I don’t like the Big Brother response.
    I have huge doubts that Amazon is “sticking up for the reader” here. They want sales. High priced best sellers don’t sell.
    As usual, the big guys start beating and banging at each other and the author and reader get caught in the fray.
    The question becomes wasn’t there a more subtle way to “punish” the publisher that didn’t involve punishing the reader and the author?

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  51. tbrookside
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 08:53:05

    Theo,

    For all we know, MacMillan told Amazon to either raise its RETAIL [not wholesale] ebook prices or to stop selling their books – and Amazon chose to stop selling their books.

    Every time, in every industry, that wholesalers gain control over retail pricing, it screws consumers. Without exception. Amazon might only be standing up for their own interests here, but in doing so they are standing up for consumers if only accidentally.

    ReplyReply

  52. Courtney Milan
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 08:57:22

    @Jane: No, really. It couldn’t possibly have been a plain technical failure. I went back through the e-mails to my kindle account, and Kindle sent me conversion-error messages up until the point when I renamed the file from “Little Brother – Cory Doctorow” and removed this text:

    —-
    READ THIS FIRST

    This book is distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 license. That means:

    You are free:
    *to Share -’ to copy, distribute and transmit the work
    *to Remix -’ to adapt the work

    Under the following conditions:
    *Attribution. You must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work).
    *Noncommercial. You may not use this work for commercial purposes.
    *Share Alike. If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under the same or similar license to this one.
    *For any reuse or distribution, you must make clear to others the license terms of this work. The best way to do this is with a link http://craphound.com/littlebrother
    *Any of the above conditions can be waived if you get my permission

    More info here.

    See the end of this file for the complete legalese.

    —-

    I could not convert a plain text file. I could not convert an HTML file. I could not convert an RTF file or a word file. It wasn’t until I took the same RTF file that was failing and removed the Creative Commons License at the beginning–which, I note, technically means that I was now in violation of Doctorow’s copyright–that Amazon allowed the file to post.

    This was almost two years ago, and maybe something has changed since then, but for whatever reason, Amazon set up a filter that was blocking conversion of Creative Commons text.

    That’s not a “technical issue.”

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  53. theo
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 08:57:48

    @tbrookside: Maybe so, but considering their past performance with the CreateSpace thing, I doubt Amazon is standing up for anyone but themselves. Right now, they’re punishing the author who loses sales, and the reader who has the buying power because they’re mad at the publisher.

    Don’t punish the innocent parties because you don’t like the parent company.

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  54. Jane
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 09:01:23

    @Courtney Milan Ah I see. How strange. Did you ever email Amazon about that? What do the TOS say about adding content from CC on there?

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  55. Jane
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 09:02:47

    @tbrookside How do wholesalers having control over retail pricing screw with consumers? The fact is that Macmillan and other trade publishers don’t see readers as their customers. Their customers are the bookstores, wholesalers and distributors.

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  56. brooksse
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 09:07:50

    @liz m: You can add me to that list. If I want a book in ebook format (which is 99.9% of books these days) and it’s not available digitally, it just doesn’t get bought.

    The only hardback copies I’ve bought were for a handful of select authors for my keeper shelf. The reason I stopped buying hardbacks was due to disappointment in those authors’ books. It had nothing to do with reading ebooks. I can think of only one or two authors I would pay hardback prices for at this time, but their books are not available in hardback.

    For me, ebooks have been a replacement for paperbacks, not for hardbacks. When it comes to hardbacks my thought process goes like this: Is this book worth paying hardback prices for, or should I wait until a cheaper version is available (used to be paperback, now ebook format). The timing of when a book is available in electronic format has absolutely no bearing on my decision process for buying hardbacks.

    But it does make me wonder if publishers who believe withholding ebooks will improve hardback sales have done research on the subject. I’d like to know what percentage of ebook readers would pay for a hardback copy if the electronic version is withheld.

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  57. Courtney Milan
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 09:09:51

    @Jane: The TOS doesn’t say anything about CC content, but then their free conversion service is one of those “we make no representation” things anyway.

    I never did e-mail Amazon, because I got it to work and so I never thought about it again until now.

    But having just been faced with the reality of the one-way stream that Kindle books are (you buy them on Kindle, you can only read them on Kindle, so if you lose your Kindle you better get a replacement Kindle or lose all your books, and hope that you haven’t exceeded your download count) I just think it’s funny that Amazon’s getting painted as the one in favor of consumer rights here.

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  58. Lynne Connolly
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 09:17:33

    As an EC author, this is eerily reminiscent of the time when Amazon removed nearly all their books and then called it an error by a clerk in the French office. Part of the ongoing negotiations? This is Amazon saying “Look what we can do if we want to” and waiting for MacMillan’s response?

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  59. Jane
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 09:26:56

    @Courtney Milan I think its easy to see how Amazon appears to be on the customer side (really it’s all about Amazon) because publishers have been so vocal about wanting to raise the prices of ebooks. I guess publishers think that readers don’t pay attention to that stuff.

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  60. roslynholcomb
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 09:31:52

    @Lynne Connolly: I think so too Lynne. I think Bezos is playing hardball. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that MacMillian was the publisher that was crowing the loudest about the release of the iPad. Reindeer games and the collision of two massive egos.

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  61. Mireya
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 09:35:18

    @lorenet:

    They are on THEIR own side, not the publisher, not the author and definitely not the reader. Some publishers may be behaving like dipsticks, but fact remains that Amazon is not pushing out of their concern for the welfare of anyone but their own.

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  62. AB
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 09:41:09

    Am I correct in that Amazon is no longer selling actual print books either? Because I just checked Kleypas’ Tempt Me and it’s not available new from Amazon.

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  63. MaryK
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 09:42:05

    I noticed this last night. I was scrolling through my wish list where I keep track of upcoming books and about half of them now say “unavailable” instead of “preorder now.”

    It’s a pretty big deal. Even if I don’t buy the books from Amazon, I keep track of them there because they have some much book info.

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  64. Shiloh Walker
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 09:46:53

    @lorenet:

    I know Amazon is still a business, but why do I get the feeling that they are the only ones on the side of the READER in this battle?

    I’m just skimming here, and somebody might have mentioned this, but I don’t see this as being on the side of the reader.

    If I want to go in and preorder some books, say by Lisa Kleypas or Sherrilyn Kenyon from Amazon, I can’t. That’s not being on my side as a reader.

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  65. MaryK
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 09:46:56

    @MaryK: And by “‘unavailable’ instead of ‘preorder now’” I mean paper books.

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  66. Shannon Stacey
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 09:47:15

    @AB: The print books are gone, too. While I’ve seen an unfortunate number of people around the internet focusing on Kindle and using this as a “see, you shouldn’t have trusted those digital books” thing, it’s all the books. Even print.

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  67. maria e. schneider
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 09:51:10

    @Courtney Milan:
    Actually you can read those books now since the Kindle for PC is available–and it’s free. (Not that your point isn’t valid, but in case something happens to your kindle, you can still access the books.)

    From what I’m reading (and this is blogs/forums, nothing official) this was macmillian’s doing, not Amazon decision to make the books unavailable. And at this point, the UK is reporting the books are still available there (again: blogs, forums nothing official.)

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  68. Jane
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 09:53:10

    @Shannon Stacey You can still buy the books from the Amazon secondary market (which I use all the time for out of print Harlequin books).

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  69. Kerensa Brougham
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 09:54:45

    “I don't have to get in my car, go to the library, look at the book, check it out,” said John Sargent…

    Am I the ONLY person who lives in a market where my library catalog is ONLINE and the books can be SHIPPED TO MY DOOR for about the price of gas to go pick them up?? Libraries lending e-books is NOT going to stop people from buying print books. I really don’t get this whole shoot-themselves-in-the-foot attitude of Publishers Against Providing Content Their Readers Want. */end rant/*

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  70. Courtney Milan
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 10:04:38

    @maria e. schneider:

    Actually you can read those books now since the Kindle for PC is available-and it's free. (Not that your point isn't valid, but in case something happens to your kindle, you can still access the books.)

    But PCs are even more expensive than Kindles. ;)

    More importantly, many Amazon Kindle books have download limits–so even when Kindle for Mac comes out, if I download my books to the new application, that download is only good as long as I have that computer–and if I get the book on my iPhone, and on a laptop as well as a desktop, and on my iPhone, in another three years, when I get the new one, I may very well have used up all my downloads, and not be able to get another copy.

    So even if I could get the books NOW through some means, in many cases, it is a given that at some point in the future, when enough devices fall into obsolescence, I won’t have access.

    Also, it is inconceivable that Macmillan could have pulled all their print books from Amazon sales, simultaneously. Amazon has stock of these books, which they have purchased from Macmillan. For print books, there’s right of first sale. If Amazon has the physical books, they can legally sell them.

    Macmillan pulled ebooks, sure, but the pulling of print books? I don’t see any way that we would see the pattern we do unless Amazon chose not to sell them.

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  71. AB
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 10:06:45

    @Shannon Stacey:
    Thanks for the confirmation. This then, goes far beyond a smaller ebook issue (I know there are plenty of people of use ebooks primarily on this site, but I think in the general population it’s still a smaller market as compared to print), and into HOLY SHIT area.

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  72. Writings Of A Wicked Book Addict – Amazon vs. Macmillan
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 10:06:57

    [...] now, most of us know all about the drama surrounding Amazon and publishing house Macmillan. If not, quick recap: the end resulted in all [...]

  73. Shannon Stacey
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 10:15:25

    @AB: Yes, it affects all readers, not just Kindle owners. Though, as Jane pointed out, you can still can the print books through the Marketplace.

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  74. Shiloh Walker
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 10:22:46

    @Courtney Milan:

    Also, it is inconceivable that Macmillan could have pulled all their print books from Amazon sales, simultaneously. Amazon has stock of these books, which they have purchased from Macmillan. For print books, there's right of first sale. If Amazon has the physical books, they can legally sell them.

    I agree.

    If any readers want to contact Amazon about this, here’s a link to a form that might do it.Contact Amazon

    I’m not with McMillan and I don’t tend to order from them much, but I’ve gotta say that having a store decide to remove all the books?

    Bothers me-a lot. They are in business to sell books, (and other stuff) and deciding to make things unavailable to their customers when they have the power to do otherwise? I just don’t see this being a pub decision. I don’t.

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  75. roslynholcomb
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 10:26:59

    Having been on the receiving end of Amazon’s ability to make books disappear, allegedly by accident in my case, (though I do think it’s damned strange that only my LI book vanished, not my non-erotic one), I have no doubt that this is their doing, not MacMillian’s. Reindeer games indeed.

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  76. Leslie
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 10:34:22

    @Courtney Milan: you can get licenses on your Kindle books released for devices you don’t own any more. So if you have downloaded a book six times to six different devices and now you don’t own four of those devices, you can get the license back for those four uses. You have to call customer service and it’s a pain in the neck because you have to go through the list book by book, but it can be done. Personally, I think the whole limit on the number of downloads thing is going to go away in the not-too-distant future. I don’t have any proof of that, but that’s my gut feeling.
    -
    As for the conversion issue you had with the Doctorow book–you said you did that about 2 years ago. That would be ~Jan. 2008 when the Kindle was still brand new. I have seen vast improvements in the converting service via email in the 21 months I have owned my Kindle, so it might have just been a problem with a relatively new technology, one in which the wrinkles are slowly being ironed out. Did you ever try to convert the book yourself, using something like Mobipocket Creator or Calibre?
    -
    As for the current controversy — I have no idea who started the fight and it’s annoying that right now I can’t buy certain books. I have a sample of Sarah’s Key on my Kindle and at the moment, all I can do is read the sample. But, if the upshot of this is that it makes Macmillan (and by extension, other big publishers) wake up and realize that ebooks and ebook readers are a force to be reckoned with, then I’m all for it.

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  77. Mireya
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 10:43:04

    @Kerensa Brougham:

    What some of these publishers don’t want to do is provide the econtent at a FAIR price. They want to charge for econtent as much as they feel like to make a profit. In their eyes, ebooks are a threat to their respective business models. Additionally, there are other, more complex issues i.e. digital rights and royalties, etc.

    Bottomline is, they are, again, penalizing those of us who favor ebook formats… because, you know, it’s a “privilege”.

    Dipsticks.

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  78. Courtney Milan
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 11:01:26

    @Leslie: Leslie, it was on May 23, 2008 (I looked it up in the interim). And it didn’t work on a text file, and all I did to make it work was delete the Creative Commons license and change the file name.

    I don’t have my Kindle anymore (it was stolen a month ago and I admit this is coloring how I feel about this whole thing), or I would test it again. But I had dealt with the wonky Kindle conversion issues for a few months before–I did all my beta-reading and the last passes of editing on my Kindle–and this was the absolute first time that a plain text file did not convert.

    Finally, if your point is that I could spend five hours on the phone with Amazon to get rights back to the thousands of dollars worth of books I purchased for my Kindle… No. First, Amazon isn’t obligated to release rights under their contract. And secondly, it still means that my books aren’t mine. Can I get the content? Yes. But I’m still stuck reading them on a crappy LCD screen.

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  79. Anon76
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 11:05:29

    When it comes to ebooks, the top dog publishers really need to get a clue.

    How can they possibly justify the price gouging? It’s not like they are suddenly providing their authors with a royalty rate comparable with houses like Samhain and EC. Nor are they doing a ton more inhouse work to convert from print to E. The bulk of the work has already been done for the print edition.

    So, where are they coming up with these prices? Is it because they may perhaps pay the author a little more in royalties? Even if that is a 5-10% increase (which I consider abhorrent), it doesn’t justify pricing the ebook at a rate up to 50% over the print version.

    Publishers, you are promoting piracy, the very act you fear the most. (And I am a staunch anti-piracy person no matter the reason, but even I get some of the “whys” put forth.)

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  80. Sally
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 11:08:33

    One point I would like make is that Amazon is making their money on the Kindle therefore they really don’t care what the price of the ebooks are, it’s not their profit center. For the publisher’s, the ebooks are their profit centers.

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  81. Maria E Schneider
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 11:11:48

    @Leslie: The 6 devices is going away–it’s already gone on my books and generally speaking it is up to the authors/publishers as to how to set it (it is now a button on at least the DTP upload.) So I agree. I think it will either go away or become more lenient.

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  82. Ashley
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 11:12:56

    @Courtney Milan: Just wanted to reply to this post. The download limit is “at a time.”

    Meaning once you take the file off one device it is free to be downloaded onto another device.

    I’ll see if I can find the quote from Amazon about that.

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  83. Maria E Schneider
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 11:13:17

    @Sally: Sally, I think that is only partially true. While they do make a profit on the Kindle, they also make a pretty decent profit on most books they sell, whether ebook or paper. And in fact, the books are an ongoing money stream, whereas the Kindle is a one or two or three time purchase. So I think they care a lot about the book profit in the longer term.

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  84. Maria E Schneider
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 11:17:33

    @Courtney Milan: Actually…It shouldn’t take any phone time if you download the Kindle for PC to the same account. Then you *should* be able to download the books again, without a phone call provided you never used your 6 licenses with other devices. It’s only if you used all the licenses that a phone call is required (if I understand things correctly.) And while your only device NOW might be the PC, you never know when you might get a cool new notebook or other device that you like better (iTouch?)

    Some books (probably not the ones you bought, admittedly) may not have had DRM — small publishers can elect to have the turned off and it was often off by default. THUS, you could covert and use the books on another device (if you had one.)

    Just some thoughts. The technology is getting better for the reader. And will continue to do so…if the big guys let it…

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  85. Maria E Schneider
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 11:20:53

    @Courtney Milan: A netbook costs about the same as a kindle and is *almost* as portable…

    :>) Your point is still valid–it’s all about convenience and what and how you want to read.

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  86. Maria E Schneider
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 11:22:12

    @Kerensa Brougham: My library cat is online–but there is no delivery. With funding being cut, I’m just happy there IS a library.

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  87. Courtney Milan
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 11:23:51

    @Maria E Schneider: Er. I don’t even have a PC. I’m not sure where this is coming from.

    And I do have another e-reader; I just can’t read any of my Kindle books on it without breaking the law. And legally, no, I could not use even the DRM-free books on another device–because my license from Amazon only allows me to use the content on devices authorized by Amazon.

    My point isn’t that I will forever be stripped of the content–yes, there are ways to make sure I always have it. All of those ways are annoying. Either I have to use it on an LCD screen device (painful) or I have to get another Kindle (thus further locking in Amazon).

    My point is that if you’re trying to say Amazon is all about being good for the consumer, I’m just not seeing it. Through DRM and its license, Amazon states that I can only use its content the way IT authorizes, not the way I want.

    And yes, I can jump through hoops to get content I’ve purchased.

    So what? I want ebooks that don’t make me jump through hoops.

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  88. Chrissy
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 11:29:20

    And yet people still buy and crow about their KINDLE.

    You couldn’t GIVE me one. Amazon keeps pulling this crap. Why support them?

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  89. Sally
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 11:33:17

    @Maria E Schneider: that may be true, but Amazon’s profit last quarter was due to sales of Kindle.

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  90. Andrys
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 11:41:53

    I have a blog entry today in which I gather info from several online sites about this fiasco and come to a conclusion about why it’s happening.

    Stories last week about Jobs asking publishers to raise their prices (this takes care of his giving publishers a bigger cut) and his demeanor in the video when asked about the difference in pricing between Amazon and his store are clear indications of what’s going on.

    http://bit.ly/kwmacm

    – Andrys

    ReplyReply

  91. Amazon’s Latest Fiasco – I Quit «
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 11:45:11

    [...] Kessler already has a good list of links on her blog, along with a good breakdown of the situation. Dear Author also covers the situation. Enjoy. Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)GLITCH?More on [...]

  92. brooksse
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 12:00:06

    From the New York Times article: “Macmillan, like other publishers, has asked Amazon to raise the price of electronic books from $9.99 to around $15. Amazon is expressing its strong disagreement by temporarily removing Macmillan books….”

    Given the timing, my guess is Macmillan decided to use the hoopla over Apple’s (max)iPad announcement to play hardball with Amazon over ebook pricing, to which Amazon countered with their own hardball tactics. If this is true, it seems that Macmillan wants Amazon to sell ebooks at a price Amazon knows its customers will not like. If Macmillan gets away with it, other publishes will follow. I can’t really blame Amazon. They want to continue selling ebooks at a price their Kindle customers will pay.

    IMO, the fault lies with the publishers. Pricing for ebooks has been all over the map depending on the timing of when they’re released. If an ebook is released along with the hardback, it costs one price. If released with a paperback, it costs considerably less. It doesn’t make sense to me that the same product has a different price based on the timing of the release.

    Value wise, I consider ebooks more on par with paperbacks. I don’t expect publishers to release a paperback at the same time as the hardback and charge as much for the paperback as the hardback. So I don’t know why they do it with ebooks.

    So, in that respect I think publishers brought this on themselves with the way they’ve priced and released ebooks.

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  93. Castiron
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 12:09:52

    @Mireya: Fair to who? The reader? The author? The editorial assistant or sales rep who’s going to get laid off if the publisher’s sales don’t improve next quarter? The stockholder?

    They want to charge for econtent as much as they feel like to make a profit.

    News flash: All businesses want to charge as much as they feel like for their product in order to make a profit. You think they’re charging too much, so you don’t buy. The business either gets a clue and lowers the prices, goes out of business, or realizes they can’t provide the product at a price customers deem reasonable without losing money and gives up on that product.

    Right now in publishing that gets blurred a bit, since the immediate customer for a print book is a bookstore or distributor, not a reader. But with ebooks, the customer is really the reader rather than the intermediary; the publisher gets paid (well, eventually) when a bookstore takes physical books, but they don’t get money from ebooks until a reader actually buys one. Eventually the sales figures (especially if we ever get a solid number from Amazon or Sony on how many of their e-readers are out there) will make it clear to publishers what prices work and what don’t.

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  94. MaryK
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 12:12:13

    @Courtney Milan: “So even if I could get the books NOW through some means, in many cases, it is a given that at some point in the future, when enough devices fall into obsolescence, I won't have access.”

    @Courtney Milan: “And yes, I can jump through hoops to get content I've purchased.

    So what? I want ebooks that don't make me jump through hoops.”

    Thank you, thank you! This is why I don’t buy DRM’d ebooks. Inconvenient and impermanent.

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  95. Ridley
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 12:13:42

    Publishers are trying to cling to an unworkable strategy. Their complete ignorance of the digital market, which music had pretty much already established, is mindblowing.

    Amazon knows this. They know that DRM, withholding ebook releases and hardback prices for ebook files are fool ideas. They encourage piracy, for one, and discourage ebook buy-in, which is foolhardy considering the explosion in ereading and the fact that ereaders consume more books than they did as paper readers.

    Amazon also knows they sell a lot of books, both paper and ebook, and that cockblocking a publisher will affect their bottom line. Someone scoffed at 10%, but losing 10% of your sales is no joke.

    Of course Amazon’s flexing its muscle in its own interests, but lower prices are in a customer’s best interests, incidentally, so they’re the dog I’m rooting for in this fight. Macmillan’s CEO is a Luddite and he and his like-minded brethren are not doing their industry any favors. Seeing as how I depend upon that industry for my entertainment, I’d like to see it embrace technology, not throw rocks at it.

    The key to increased ebook sales, and decreased or at least marginal piracy, is more access, not less. I’m glad to see Amazon playing hardball towards that goal.

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  96. Leslie
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 12:17:05

    >>Castiron wrote: but they don't get money from ebooks until a reader actually buys one. Eventually the sales figures (especially if we ever get a solid number from Amazon or Sony on how many of their e-readers are out there) will make it clear to publishers what prices work and what don't.<<
    -
    For books from small pubs, like Samhain or Dreamspinner (who sell through the Amazon Kindle store) that might be true, but for big publishers like Macmillan, they sell ebooks wholesale just like they sell print books–and, according to an article in the New York Times in June 2008, for the same price. If the wholesale price is $15 (usually 50% of the suggested retail price), Amazon pays that for both the print and ebook version. If Amazon is selling a Kindle book for $9.99 and paid $15 for it…you can do the math.
    -
    L

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  97. Jane
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 12:20:55

    An agent on Twitter said Macmillans contract with Amazon was up and tried to negotiate for agency pricing which is where the vendor sets the price. Amazon apparently does not want this.

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  98. M E 2
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 12:21:16

    It is exactly this kind of bullshit that constantly (re)affirms the reason(s) why I have NO want/need/desire to EVER own an eReader.

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  99. Deb
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 12:29:10

    Apple definitely has their hands dirty in this. Whether by advice or contract it is in their best interest to move publishers to their line of thinking. Considering their epub drm is proprietary to Apple (according to Adobe), their model is exactly that of Amazon.

    Until publishers accept new technologies and the readers interests, their bottom lines will continue to drop. Trying to force outmoded models on the buying public fails. Instead of digging trenches, they should be looking at new models that are working. Harlequin seems to be a leader in this regard. I applaud their business acumen.

    Until this is resolved, I will not purchase a MacMillin book in any imprint in any form. If the other publishers sail with Apple’s line, and follow MacMillin’s model, I will stop buying their books as well. I realize that authors suffer due to this moratorium. I am a very heavy reader, who buys all books (haven’t used a used bookstore, library and certainly not pirate copy)I find I am the only one in this deal, who cares enough about my buying power. I choose to utilize my power.

    Until this is resolved, I will not shop at Amazon.

    Until this is resolved, I will not purchase any hardware, software, music, videos etc., from Apple.

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  100. MIreya
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 12:32:10

    @Castiron:

    I have been reading ebooks for 7 years.

    I was fired on Tuesday after 10 1/2 years of working for the company I was fired from.

    Put 1 + 1 together. Do you think I am thinking about those that could get fired? I am thinking about finances. MY finances. And so are the other 20 secretaries fired at the same time I was… because, you know, the economy is so fantastic for EVERYONE right now.

    A good chunk of the big publishers are bringing the crap upon themselves.

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  101. DS
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 12:38:53

    @Jane: This sounds legit. I wonder who decided on the Friday night massacre? I can’t decide who would benefit or be hurt more by a Macmillanless weekend.

    I read somewhere that most online purchases are made from work on weekdays, but the seven inches of snow outside my window and apparently over a bit of the south east has led to an internet shopping spree on my part that has not included Macmillan.

    I did preorder the New P. C. Hogell from Baen though. I’ve been looking forward to this one.

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  102. GrowlyCub
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 12:53:15

    Hey Jane,

    up top it says that there are 101 comments but only 98 are actually displayed. Are the 3 missing ones stuck in the spam filter, or does the program count differently from me? :)

    ReplyReply

  103. Bonnie
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 12:54:51

    @GrowlyCub: They’re below in the pingbacks I think.

    ReplyReply

  104. GrowlyCub
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 12:56:52

    @Bonnie:

    Oh, duh on me. :) Thanks Bonnie!

    ReplyReply

  105. Oleta
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 13:33:28

    This isn’t just about e-books. Amazon has taken the buy button off the newer print books of the St. Martins authors. I have a number of books on pre-order for Lora Leigh, Cheyenne McCray, Lorie O’Clare, Christine Warren, and others that are now on hold because they aren’t available from Amazon. I am not going to pay more for an e-book than I pay for a print book. I haven’t purchase one of Lisa Kleypas’ books in e-book form for this reason. I am sorry e-books cost less to produce than the print books. I would stop buying from St. Martins/MacMillian but a large group of my favorite authors are published through them. I am not sure what I am going to do at this point.

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  106. Fight Night: Amazon vs. MacMillan vs. Apple ? « Kindle Love « KindleVixen.com
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 15:06:15

    [...] Soon after, bloggers started making their voices heard… including a well done post by DearAuthor. [...]

  107. Throwmearope
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 15:11:26

    I thought that Amazon’s latest ridiculous little caper wouldn’t affect me much. I have a Sony E-reader (thank goodness). I usually buy my dead tree books at the local BN, particularly since they got rid of the obnoxious manager they used to have over there.

    However, I just found out that Tor is part of MacMillan, and Amazon has pulled the books from about 4 of my husband’s favorite sci fi authors off their site.

    And SF is increasingly hard to find. Denver’s best independent has a tiny section and BN shelves mostly paranormal romance in the SF section.

    I am gnashing my teeth. Valentine’s Day is a couple of weeks away, and I know he doesn’t want flowers or chocolates.

    I hope this blows over soon.

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  108. Amazon Pulls First Second Books, Other Macmillan Titles » Comics Worth Reading
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 15:46:04

    [...] Dear Author points out that driving customers to the secondary market, as Amazon has done, means no money for the publisher or author, while the retailer still gets their cut. The site also sums up Macmillan’s negative history with ebooks overall. Similar Posts: Kodansha to Open U.S. Subsidiary; Manga Pricing to Change? § Publishers Attempt to Make More Money by Delaying E-Books § Alternate Pricing § Why Print Is Better Than Digital § Amazon Policies Changing? 15 Comments » [...]

  109. Maria E. Schneider
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 17:04:02

    @Throwmearope: Have you tried Baen’s site? I don’t know if you want an ebook or regular book, but they sell their ebooks from their webscriptions. If he likes Sci-fi I recommend Mark Van Name…Eric Flint for a bit harder sci/fi, more traditional. There are lots to pick from, some of them won’t be big names (I also recommend Scalzi, but he is a TOR author and I know his books are not flashing the buy button at the moment!)

    Of course Baen books can be found in stores as well (or ordered in.)

    Don’t know the publisher, but A. Lee Martinez has a couple of funny sci-fi, my favorite is “The Automatic Detective.”

    Good luck. Don’t want to mess with Valentine’s day…!

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  110. A
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 17:06:49

    @theo:

    I'm fortunate that I have a B&N store close. If I want a book, I call, they order it, I pick it up usually the next day and while I'm there, I have a cup of coffee, maybe a muffin, read the paper…

    All of that is to say, as far as a 'seller' goes, I don't need Amazon. I have a prime membership which is nice when I want a single title, but will most likely let that lapse. If B&N would do that same thing instead of the $25 minimum, I'd never buy from Amazon again.

    Whether they are in a dispute with a publisher or not, Amazon is acting like a small child who is pissed at the one they've been playing happily with for hours because they got pinched. So they're stomping their foot, shoving their lower lip out to pout, picking up their toys so no one else can play anymore either, and going home.

    What kind of a business practice is that?

    I'm not saying either entity is right or wrong. What's wrong is the dramatic way they feel they have to handle this.

    Well said. The stances of responsible businesses are to provide products to consumers.

    I am a very recent ebook convert. While I appreciate the perks of ebooks, I’ve also noted quirks and issues that bug me.

    Ebook readers are too expensive. Ebook technology is not yet at a level where one can enjoy any type of book (example: I own a huge historical atlas, a book of maps featuring the changes in boundaries throughout human history. E-ink technology doesn’t lend itself well to maps, or historical illustrations.)

    Ebooks are frequently priced the same or even higher priced than print editions, so it’s not like purchasing the ebook reader will “pay for itself” in terms of money saved on book costs.

    Finally, it peeves me that some ebooks do not include cover art (makes it harder to I.D. the book thumbnail — also it’s just a personal peeve, I feel if I paid for the book, I paid for the whole book, not a “stripped” book. I am a bibliophile and, to me, cover art is part of the beauty of a book, real or virtual. I’ve “upgraded” real books to ebooks with the intention of “decluttering” my shelves, only to retain my real versions so I still can enjoy the beautiful cover art.

    If Amazon chooses not to sell particular books I want, or if particular publishers choose not to offer books through Amazon, I have no problem purchasing books through another venue. Amazon is hardly the only bookseller in the world.

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  111. pooks
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 17:31:13

    Amazon’s high-handed removal of all Macmillan books from its site has me steaming. This is not about protecting the reader.

    This is a simple issue. They should carry the books at the price MacMillan wants. When people don’t pay it, Macmillan will suffer and will lower their prices.

    If people do pay it, Amazon makes a bigger profit.

    What is their problem? Their problem is that they want to make Kindles look like a good buy, and are now running scared of iPad. So by keeping books priced lower, people will be more willing to buy the overpriced Kindle.

    I have one and love it, by the way, but now I am enraged that I’m locked in to buying from Amazon, if they are playing these kinds of games.

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  112. Anion
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 17:41:16

    This is part of the PM article on this:

    One senior publishing executive called the move by Amazon “fairly draconian” but added that their company had not received any threats of similar action from Amazon. As we’ve said before–though consumers have not yet gotten the message–the agency model that publishers are trying to implement with Apple and across their customer base actually lowers the publishers’ proceeds from each ebook sale and gives more profit to sellers versus the current loss-leading model behind the $9.99 price point.

    Another senior publishing executive said that “Amazon may ‘spin’ that the consumer is at the heart of the decision, but really their goal is a monopoly position in books. Publishers don’t want a monopoly – they want consumers to have choice through a number of partners and channels. They want digital pricing which allows bricks and mortar retailers to survive and thrive alongside a growing digital market.” That person added, “This reaction proves what Amazon’s true motives are. It is a signal to any other publishers not to change the model and weaken Amazon’s pathway to a monopoly. I hope authors, agents and publishers see what these motives are and stand by Macmillan.”

    Also, Sargent & Macmillan have taken out an ad in PM explaining their side, and how yes, Amazon just yanked their books because they didn’t like the way contract renegotiations are going (my wording, not his). This is his (in part) (bolding mine):

    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 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.

    The agency model would allow Amazon to make more money selling our books, not less. We would make less money in our dealings with Amazon under the new model. Our disagreement is not about short-term profitability but rather about the long-term viability and stability of the digital book market.

    The PM article also states that many Kindle owners who had downloaded MacMillan sample chapters, or had MacMillan books on their Kindle wishlists, have had those samples deleted from their Kindles and those titles pulled from their wishlists.

    Wow. We should /totally/ support Amazon, because the way they reach into their customers’ devices without permission and steal content back is so pro-reader/consumer.

    ReplyReply

  113. Anion
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 17:43:37

    And also:

    @pooks:

    Amazon's high-handed removal of all Macmillan books from its site has me steaming. This is not about protecting the reader.

    This is a simple issue. They should carry the books at the price MacMillan wants. When people don't pay it, Macmillan will suffer and will lower their prices.

    If people do pay it, Amazon makes a bigger profit.

    What is their problem? Their problem is that they want to make Kindles look like a good buy, and are now running scared of iPad. So by keeping books priced lower, people will be more willing to buy the overpriced Kindle.

    Fuckin’ A. THIS.

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  114. A
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 17:50:34

    @pooks:

    What is their problem? Their problem is that they want to make Kindles look like a good buy, and are now running scared of iPad. So by keeping books priced lower, people will be more willing to buy the overpriced Kindle.

    I have one and love it, by the way, but now I am enraged that I'm locked in to buying from Amazon, if they are playing these kinds of games.

    I received a Sony Reader as a gift, and I do sort of feel like I “dodged a bullet” with Amazon since, for now at least, Sony seems to offer more options in terms of what content I can use on the device.

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  115. DS
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 18:01:48

    @Anion: The removing sample story is not true. I have a couple of Macmillan samples on my Kindle and whispersync is on. They have not been removed.

    ReplyReply

  116. Anion
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 18:06:54

    @DS:

    I’m just repeating the comments PM repeated from the Kindle forums on Amazon.

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  117. Michele Lee
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 18:15:56

    @Throwmearope: Also Apex Book Company is a SF publisher who does an excellent job of both choosing SF and making the ebooks available soon and reasonably priced. They have published a number of up and comers, so you might want to check them out.

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  118. Edie
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 18:17:53

    Amazon with their restrictive DRM and practices, is no reader friendly company.

    Am I wrong in reading the 15.99 would be for hardcovers not mme?

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  119. DS
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 18:33:44

    @Anion: Didn’t mean to sound accusatory. Just wanted to relate my experience. I realized you were just quoting someone else.

    I’ve read some of the discussion threads on Amazon and there was a certain amount of “sky is falling– back up all your book and run”– going on. Books are gone off the wishlists but several other people mentioned they still had their samples, however the book was marked unavailable.

    Hopefully this will do some good if it encourages people to back up their valuable data.

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  120. Deb
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 18:36:56

    After reading the quoted ad from PW re: MacMillian’s response, I would be delighted with the strategy. However, in the meantime, their books i.e. SMP imprint of Jenny Crusie and Bob Mayer’s Agnes, is currently listed @ $12.60 in the Sony store, $14.00 @ Fictionwise. Lisa Kleypas’ Seduce Me At Sunrise, is selling for 7.19 at Sony & 7.99 at Fictionwise. In both cases, these books are DRM epubs, their print published books are mass market paperbacks. Interestingly, I was on unable to find them on Books On Board.

    I will wait to see their implementations regarding release dates and pricing. Something tells me our favorite authors will be priced higher as they are big sellers.

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  121. Ridley
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 18:54:38

    Macmillan still wants me to pay more for a book.

    I don’t care about what Amazon’s getting paid, or who’s losing money, or what’s a fair deal.

    I don’t want to pay $14.99 for a 90k word document that I can’t trade, sell or share. $9.99 is too much for most books.

    I am sure this is about Amazon preserving market share. But so long as it’s cheapest for me, that’s who I’m rooting for.

    Start selling books without DRM that I can sell, trade or share, and maybe I’d pay $14.99. Maybe.

    ReplyReply

  122. Anion
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 18:59:17

    @DS: Lol, no, I’m sorry. Dinner was ready and I just wanted to quickly reply. :-) Didn’t mean to make you feel like I felt accused. (Hee, that sentence could just keep going and going, couldn’t it?)

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  123. MaryK
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 19:20:06

    @Deb: “However, in the meantime, their books i.e. SMP imprint of Jenny Crusie and Bob Mayer's Agnes, is currently listed @ $12.60 in the Sony store, $14.00 @ Fictionwise. Lisa Kleypas' Seduce Me At Sunrise, is selling for 7.19 at Sony & 7.99 at Fictionwise.”

    Isn’t that the point, really? Different stores carry the same product and price it differently to attract customers. It sounds to me like Macmillan wants to arrange it so all stores are required to have the same price. After they control the price, they can charge anything they want.

    ReplyReply

  124. KindleVixen
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 19:21:00

    @pooks:

    Amazon's high-handed removal of all Macmillan books from its site has me steaming. This is not about protecting the reader.

    This is a simple issue. They should carry the books at the price MacMillan wants. When people don't pay it, Macmillan will suffer and will lower their prices.

    If people do pay it, Amazon makes a bigger profit.

    What is their problem? Their problem is that they want to make Kindles look like a good buy, and are now running scared of iPad. So by keeping books priced lower, people will be more willing to buy the overpriced Kindle.

    Wait, why is it that Amazon should have to set prices according to what the publishers want? It is Amazon’s store and amazon who has to deal with the customers, it seems to me that this should give them the right to set prices however they wish. They know their customers very well and know what their customers will pay for.

    ReplyReply

  125. KindleVixen
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 19:24:22

    @Ridley:

    Macmillan still wants me to pay more for a book.

    I don't care about what Amazon's getting paid, or who's losing money, or what's a fair deal.

    I don't want to pay $14.99 for a 90k word document that I can't trade, sell or share. $9.99 is too much for most books.

    I am sure this is about Amazon preserving market share. But so long as it's cheapest for me, that's who I'm rooting for.

    Start selling books without DRM that I can sell, trade or share, and maybe I'd pay $14.99. Maybe.

    I just said this same thing on my blog this morning. I am not willing to pay 14.99 for an e-book (on a regular basis), no matter if its hardcopy or not. Its absurd.

    ReplyReply

  126. Christine M.
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 19:41:33

    @Throwmearope: How about ordering your books from bookdepository.com? It might be a tight fit, but you might still get the book sin time…

    ReplyReply

  127. DS
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 19:42:32

    @Anion: I get paranoid when I’m posting. I probably (wisely) cancel far more posts than I let go through.

    However, back on topic. I do not want the scrooge-like person quoted in the NYT interview posted by Jane upthread to make the decision about the price of an ebook. Kushiel’s Dart has been in mmpb for less than $8 since when– 2002? and Macmillan still wants $14 for the eBook.

    ReplyReply

  128. Bianca
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 20:26:33

    I’m with Ridley and kindlevixen. I don’t care who is getting paid or not — or what. I’d rather have $9.99 ebooks than $15 ebooks. This whole thing seems like the first step in getting stores to pay uniform prices, i.e. what the publisher wants them to sell for, rather than what Amazon or Fictionwise wants to sell them for. So, I’ll be rooting for Amazon in this one, no question. Sorry.

    It’ll be a chilly day in hell before I pay over ten dollars for any ebook, I’ll tell you that right now. ;)

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  129. theo
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 20:36:37

    I don’t have a horse in this race from the standpoint that I have no eReader. May never unless the price for the reader itself drops significantly, but, and this is a big one for me, to all of you who don’t care who does or doesn’t get paid, you should. Because in the long run, it’s the authors that get hurt the most and if they get hurt financially bad enough, and long enough, well, maybe all those favorite authors you wait for just won’t bother to waste their time writing anymore.

    I know, soapbox, sorry. *end rant*

    ReplyReply

  130. Jane
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 20:39:31

    @theo: I am contemplating learning to live without some of my favorite authors. I’ve learned to live without Sharon and Tom Curtis, Jane Feather, Joan Wolf, Judith Ivory, etc. etc. I mean, losing authors happens and it can be bad but we readers will soldier on.

    The authors that are hurt the worst are those with Feb and March releases from Macmillan. But authors never seem to get mad at their publishers.

    ReplyReply

  131. theo
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 20:46:30

    @Jane: I think getting mad at their publishers, at least publicly, is like slitting their own throat.

    And it’s not that I don’t agree with you! We can all learn to live without our favorite author, but eventually, it *could* affect enough favorite authors with enough publishers that the dreck on romfail night might be our only viable reading alternative. :o)

    Just saying. Not agreeing or disagreeing. I just think it’s a much bigger picture than what we’re seeing here. This is the tip of the problem and I think it’s only going to get worse before it gets better.

    That’s just me though.

    ReplyReply

  132. Moriah Jovan
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 20:47:02

    What I would like to see (but won’t) would be for the tor.com store to explode on Monday with MacMillan’s entire catalog, front, back, forward, inside, outside, upside down… print and E (hell, they could even slap their DRM on it) priced at the same price they offer Amazon et al, and make a big announcement in the NYT.

    Drive the people with the money from one venue to another instead of letting them mill about all confused and such. (Of course, that would assume that MacMillan thinks of the people who read as customers, but one can dream, right?)

    THAT would be a decent MacMillan lobby to Amazon’s salvo. (I bet they’d even make a buck or two.)

    PS (I’ve heard awesome things about bookdepository.com.)

    ReplyReply

  133. Jane
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 20:50:03

    @theo Sure, but I, as a reader, am not going to jump up and embrace the author cause here. I’m fighting for my rights as a reader and they appear to be opposite with what might be in the best interest of the author.

    ReplyReply

  134. theo
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 20:57:42

    @Jane: I understand :o)

    And like I said, I don’t have an eReader, so perhaps that colors my views. Well, I’m sure it does. So I don’t understand the higher pricepoint on an eBook when the hardcover comes out, then dropping it when the paperback is released. I would think they’d withhold the eBook until the paperback came out, then price them within an small percentage of each other.

    I really do understand. I don’t buy hardcovers. I can’t afford them. I wait for the paperback. If I owned an eReader, I’d wait for the lower pricepoint. But I also understand that right now, there really isn’t one.

    I guess what I’m saying is that innocent parties are who gets hurt by this. The reader as well as the author. But to say one doesn’t care who gets paid and who doesn’t also hurts those innocent parties.

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  135. Nonny
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 23:10:56

    Regarding the pricing issue and authors… I’m an author, but I’m also a reader. I know I won’t buy ebooks priced higher than the print version. Even $10 is on the high side for me, when I can usually get print for $3-4 cheaper, depending on where I’m buying. If I won’t pay it, why should I expect readers to?

    Furthermore, the arguments about writers needing to make a profit seem to forget a very important point. The author won’t MAKE as much money if the price point is so high that most readers won’t purchase their books. I can’t count the number of people I’ve heard say they wanted to buy an ebook but didn’t due to the pricing.

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  136. Rebecca Herman
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 23:25:38

    Unlike many of the commenters here, I strongly prefer print books – to the point where I wouldn’t touch an ebook with a 10 foot pole. I am NOT impressed that Amazon has decreased the availability of the print books I purchased from them in order to the keep the $9.99 ebook pricing for their ebook market monopoly with the Kindle. I am not interested in ebooks, period, and not happy that my selection of books I want is suffering as a result. I will be shopping at B&N.com, Borders, and The Book Depository from now on, Amazon has lost my business with this move. Blogging friends of mine who share my print book preference seem to be feeling the same way as me.

    ReplyReply

  137. Mary Winter » Two Sides of the Same Coin (Amazon/Macmillion)
    Jan 31, 2010 @ 00:30:40

  138. Karen Scott
    Jan 31, 2010 @ 06:41:37

    @lorenet:

    Amazon aren’t on the side of the readers, they just want to own the publishing world and make lots of money doing it. This is more about them than the readers.

    Macmillan are acting like arseholes though.

    ReplyReply

  139. Karen Scott
    Jan 31, 2010 @ 06:48:21

    @Rebecca Herman:

    I will be shopping at B&N.com, Borders, and The Book Depository from now on, Amazon has lost my business with this move.
    Blogging friends of mine who share my print book preference seem to be feeling the same way as me.

    Talk is cheap.

    I would love it, if for once people who threatened to stop buying from Amazon actually stopped buying from Amazon. It never seems to happen though.

    ReplyReply

  140. LJ
    Jan 31, 2010 @ 08:49:08

    @Karen Scott: I have to agree with you. I’ve been threatening to stop buying from Amazon for ages. After the Obama/monkey costume incident. After he was on Oprah and I noticed all of the books on his Kindle were conservative right-wing tomes by the likes of Bill O Reilly and Glenn Beck. After he removed the rankings from gay/lesbian books.

    I did stop ordering from Amazon for a while, and then they recently placed several 2010 hardcovers at 46% – 53% off. I pre-ordered 6. Amazon has also been my go-to store for household/food/office/DVD items I can’t find locally.

    But I’m seriously thinking about canceling my pre-orders (that don’t have items that have already shipped) and finding a new online store. I am not an e-book reader, but Jeff Bezos/Amazon is scary. I believe, like Karen Scott, that Bezos isn’t pro-reader/author. He wants to dominate the retail industry, not just books. (My state started paying tax on Amazon purchases last year after small businesses complained that Amazon was hurting sales – not just for books.)

    I also agree with: I'm just glad I've not dropped hundreds of dollars on an e-reader. If the market is so unstable that the biggest retailer of ebooks can just stop selling ebooks from some publisher that pisses them off Or vice versa then my $ investment is better put in some other form of entertainment whose access isn't so easily denied to me.

    Regardless of whether MacMillan is wrong, I can’t side with Amazon for trying to send a message to publishers that says: If you do not go along with me, you will be shut out. That’s just dangerous and a totalitarian mindset. I think this is bigger than ebooks costing too much money so I think we should all choose sides wisely on this.

    After what Bezos/Amazon did to gay/lesbian literature last year, shame on me for still giving this company my money!

    It has to start somewhere. Has anyone had decent book-buying success with Book Depository? Any favorite independent online stores?

    Edited to Add: I ordered and received a mass market copy of Julia Spencer Fleming’s In the Bleak Midwinter from Amazon last week. I see the mass markets of this series are no longer available. I will now be purchasing the rest of the series from BN.com since my local stores do not have copies.

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  141. Mireya
    Jan 31, 2010 @ 09:52:03

    @Karen Scott:

    I keep my book wishlist in Amazon. I buy my books from B&N, Borders or Sony Reader library. I stopped buying anything from Amazon over two years ago. I resisted buying a Kindle and kept using my Pocket PC for ebook reading. After that, I bought a Sony. Why? both allow me to read in multi formats, not just Microsoft reader (in the case of the Pocket PC) or whatever the proprietary format is for the Sony.

    Anyway, I am sure many others don’t buy from Amazon anymore. However, Amazon has customers in the millions, so I seriously doubt that we are making any dents in the big scheme of things.

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  142. Christine M.
    Jan 31, 2010 @ 11:39:29

    @LJ:

    It has to start somewhere. Has anyone had decent book-buying success with Book Depository? Any favorite independent online stores?

    I’ve completely stopped ordering books from Amazon and now place all my orders at bookdepository. With the current exchange rate (I’m Canadian), it’s actually cheaper than buying from amazon.ca (my last order cost me CAD$35 for 6 mmpb, and the same order at amz would have cost me about 55-60$, plus taxes). And the shipping’s free, too. The only downside is the delivery of the books takes longer, since everything is shipped from the UK. They also have a great customer service.

    ReplyReply

  143. Castiron
    Jan 31, 2010 @ 15:01:25

    @LJ: I’ve had good luck with Book Depository; the shipping’s slower than Amazon’s Super Saver shipping, but it’s all arrived within two weeks or so of my ordering.

    ReplyReply

  144. Andrys
    Jan 31, 2010 @ 16:27:57

    Courtney
    Sorry about the loss of your Kindle – that had to be traumatic at the time.

    As for the thousands of books you bought, you had only one Kindle. The way it works is that you can have any of your books on up to 6 devices at any given time.

    If you buy a new Kindle, they set up a new ID for the new Kindle, your books are ALL eligible for the new Kindle because they were only on the old Kindle and the PC if you’ve been using that. The manageyourpage listing would say which Kindle you wanted any of them sent to.

    You can bring back just the few you want because at any given time, on the street or anywhere, you can download from what is seen on your Kindle as “the Archives” where all the Amazon-purchased books you own but which are not on your Kindle are shown. Click on one and it’ll be downloaded.

    There is no limit on downloads of a book. Only on how many devices a book can be on simultaneously.

    Whatever, you probably don’t want to go through any hassle like this, but I thought you might want to know.

    – Andrys

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  145. Deborah Schneider
    Jan 31, 2010 @ 16:29:57

    I think Amazon has just established that in their store, they will set the retail price. How is this different from Costco discounting books in their stores? Will they be the next target for the publishers?

    By the way, the reference to the LIBRARY by the publisher is interesting, but the fact they don’t license their e-book versions to libraries is strange. By the way, libraries buy those licenses and they buy the books. Suddenly after years of being the ugly step-child of the book business, libraries are brought into the fold.

    Amazon is a business, and they’ll do what they need to in order to sell product. If one supplier decides they have the right to control their business, then they don’t have to use that retail outlet.

    There are plenty of books available in all sorts of formats. But book publishers should take note of what happened when Apple wanted to control all content for their iPod.

    Seen any music stores in your neighborhood lately?

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  146. Andrys
    Jan 31, 2010 @ 16:33:38

    Courtney
    Sorry about the loss of your Kindle – that had to be traumatic at the time.

    As for the thousands of books you bought, you had only one Kindle. The way it works is that you can have any of your books on up to 6 devices at any given time.

    If you buy a new Kindle, they set up a new ID for the new Kindle, your books are ALL eligible for the new Kindle because they were only on the old Kindle and the PC if you’ve been using that. The manageyourpage listing would say which Kindle you wanted any of them sent to.

    You can bring back just the few you want because at any given time, on the street or anywhere, you can download from what is seen on your Kindle as “the Archives” where all the Amazon-purchased books you own but which are not on your Kindle are shown. Click on one and it’ll be downloaded.

    There is no limit on downloads of a book. Only on how many devices a book can be on simultaneously.

    Whatever, you probably don’t want to go through any hassle like this, but I thought you might want to know.

    Andrys

    ReplyReply

  147. Tweets that mention Game On: Amazon Removes the Buy Button for All Macmillan Books | Dear Author: Romance Novel Reviews, Industry News, and Commentary -- Topsy.com
    Jan 31, 2010 @ 22:40:42

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Tim Spalding, Jay Lake, Dominique Raccah, Moriah Jovan, Moriah Jovan and others. Moriah Jovan said: @JulieW8 Go here: http://is.gd/7nxfP Read. [...]

  148. LJ
    Feb 01, 2010 @ 07:08:50

    Thanks for The Book Depository info, Christine and Castiron. I’d worried in the past about longer shipping time when I found out about them last year. Still, it’s worth giving them my business. I can buy the new releases I must have immediately from Borders and Barnes & Noble, which I do anyway.

    ReplyReply

  149. Cher Gorman
    Feb 02, 2010 @ 10:01:03

    Don’t understand your vehement hatred of e-books, Rebecca. There are a lot of wonderful authors out there writing strictly for the e-book market. And a lot of print authors like Angela Knight got their start writing e-books. So far I’ve only been published in e-book but hope to be on a book store shelf soon.

    Cher

    ReplyReply

  150. How Agency Pricing Helped Barnes and Noble Gain a Foothold in eBooks - Dear Author
    Sep 04, 2011 @ 04:00:42

    [...] to sell books at the price set by Amazon.  Instead, Macmillan wanted to set the prices.  Amazon responded by pulling the buy buttons for all Macmillan books.  But after the weekend was over, Macmillan prevailed and soon thereafter [...]

  151. Ioffe vs. O’Donnell Over Snowden and Amazon Meets The Post | CONSTRUCTION
    Aug 08, 2013 @ 11:54:35

    [...] us. As though we booksellers needed more proof of Amazon’s bullying, that winter in 2010 Amazon removed the buy button on Macmillan Books. I’ll concede that Bezos is better than the Koch Brothers, but [...]

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