Amazon.com removes Macmillan books from site!!

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san_remo_ave

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Here we go!

Apparently, Amazon.com has spent the day on Friday pulling down ebooks and removing 'Buy It Now' links for all books produced by Macmillan publishing. (I have only checked the US site)

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/30/technology/30amazon.html

http://dearauthor.com/wordpress/201...ndle-books-and-amazon-removes-the-buy-button/

Looks like two major companies are facing off.

My sympathies to those of you who are Macmillan pubbed. Amazon is a major source for book purchases (paperback AND ebook) and this can't be feeling good to you at the moment. I hope this is resolved quickly.
 

WildScribe

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Huh... interesting reasons. Honestly, though, sometimes $10 is a discount vs. the hardcover, but I never buy hardcovers anyway, and it is more than your typical trade. On average, book companies are making $2 more from me per book than they did before, and faster, too, with less overhead on their part. Sounds like a good deal for them.
 

san_remo_ave

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Me, too, WildScribe. I rarely purchase hardbacks, but have on occasion purchased the ebook at $9.99.

The problem with this action today (or yesterday now, depending on time zone?) is that Amazon is pulling down sales links for ebooks AND hard copies. The only exception is 3rd party transactions, which are typically used book sales and authors get no furhter royalties. So, in my opinion, readers & writers will suffer till this gets sorted out. Afterall, iBookstore isn't on line yet, is it?
 

Maxinquaye

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It will actually be good when the ebook version of iTunes opens. There will be more competition and neither publishers nor booksellers will be able to get into tats like these. It will be good for the readers, and ultimately good for writers.
 

vfury

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The Book Depository is a good alternative (for books) to Amazon. I know several people who buy from them and have no problems. Edit: I can't believe I forgot to add that they do international shipping!

I can't wait until there starts being more competition to Amazon--it's terrifying how they can just pull an entire publisher's stock from their site.
 
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ChaosTitan

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I'm not sure what I think about the business side of this whole mess, but my heart is broken for thousands of authors whose sales will be affected by this decision. I have several friends published by Tor and some of Macmillan's other imprints, and this just sucks donkey balls for them.
 

Rhoda Nightingale

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Wow. I.....wow. That's a pretty staggering chunk of inventory going away.

@Maxinquaye: Is that really in the works, an iTunes eBook seller?
 

WendyNYC

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As someone who JUST FREAKING BOUGHT a Kindle, I'm pretty irritated. What?! If I had a Nook, I could buy WOLF HALL, but too bad so sad for me?

I sent Amazon an email about it.
 

Susan Gable

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Well, I was turned off by Amazon when they went into everyone's Kindles and wiped off a book they weren't supposed to sell in the first place.

Not that I have a problem with them correcting the situation -- but I don't think they should be allowed to just "waltz into" your machine and take something back. They should have asked for and been granted permission by each customer FIRST.

I admit, I like Amazon as a place to buy things. I don't buy used stuff, only new. I like having the stuff delivered right to my doorstep (or to anyone's doorstep) with free shipping.

But they DO behave like bullies a lot of the time.

Susan G.
 

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My biggest issue with all of this, aside from the obvious problems you have stated, is the following:

Publishing is in trouble right now. We need everyone to get together, have a sit, and figure out a new business model to help it survive. Once we've done that, then yes, maybe big business can go back to playing the game, but if we don't fix the problems first, there isn't going to be a game to play. This is not the time for Amazon to be throwing its weight around. Especially not less than a week after the birth of the iPad.

Bad form, Amazon. Bad form.
 

Sevvy

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Especially not less than a week after the birth of the iPad.

I wouldn't be surprised if that right there is part of this reactionary tactic.

And like, five seconds after I posted in my blog about this, I saw this thread. ^__^ I figured someone on here would have read about this too. It sucks what's going on, because this really hurts the readers and writers a lot more than the corporations.

Hopefully the fact that Macmillan is owned by an even bigger fish will at least keep this battle on even footing.
 

timewaster

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It will actually be good when the ebook version of iTunes opens. There will be more competition and neither publishers nor booksellers will be able to get into tats like these. It will be good for the readers, and ultimately good for writers.

I am pretty sure it won't be good for writers. We're pretty much stuffed whatever.
 

ChristineR

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You see, this is why I got out of the computer industry. They're like a bunch of third-graders. Watch Amazon say something vacuous on Monday, like "MacMillan does not share our vision for the Kindle." Would it kill them just to charge the price that the publisher asks?

You can just buy your books at Barnes and Noble or Borders, I guess.
 

san_remo_ave

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You can just buy your books at Barnes and Noble or Borders, I guess.

Borders doesn't offer ebooks that I can see and DRM'd books from other bookstores (B&N or BooksOnBoard) don't play well with Kindle (and since Bezos claims millions of Kindles sold, this is no small industry issue). Non-DRM publications are easy-peasy, so I'm likely to be shopping for those till this is sorted out.

I buy only ebooks these days and won't go back to paperback because of this standoff. I'm more likely to select another DRM format, but unlikely to do that until I can confirm any investment I make in the new format can be, um, protected (read: stripped to read in other formats). I read a lot and won't lose my investment due to bully corporate tactics, yanno?
 
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Birol

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That's a good question right now.
@Maxinquaye: Is that really in the works, an iTunes eBook seller?

You hadn't heard? I'm surprised you guys hadn't been discussing it around here, but the answer is, yes. Apple is getting into the ebook game. Let me see if I can find an article for you.

Here's the New York Times article.

You can just buy your books at Barnes and Noble or Borders, I guess.

Or they could pay a visit to their local indie book seller.
 

ChristineR

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Borders doesn't offer ebooks that I can see and DRM'd books from other bookstores (B&N or BooksOnBoard) don't play well with Kindle (and since Bezos claims millions of Kindles sold, this is no small industry issue). Non-DRM publications are easy-peasy, so I'm likely to be shopping for those till this is sorted out.

I buy only ebooks these days and won't go back to paperback because of this standoff. I'm more likely to select another DRM format, but unlikely to do that until I can confirm any investment I make in the new format can be, um, protected (read: broken to read in other formats). I read a lot and won't lose my investment due to bully corporate tactics, yanno?

This is true, but it's also one of the reasons why I haven't bought a Kindle. My feeling is that with all the DRM and other issues with the Kindle, that it's really hit and miss what you can get for it, and in a few years, the Kindle may turn out to be useless, or only have public domain titles. If you have to get the paper edition, I guess you have to get it from someone else now.

Birol, my locally owned bookstore is Borders. We do have one independent left though.
 

Christine N.

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Just another reason I hate proprietary formats. Nook not only reads B&N format, but also .pdf natively, which I can get from anyone of a number of places. Amazon forces you to send it to them to reformat before its useful to the device. Even if Nook format went away, I could still use the device.

The more Amazon tightens its grip, the more things will slip away from them. Stupid.
 

WendyNYC

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Watch Amazon say something vacuous on Monday, like "MacMillan does not share our vision for the Kindle." Would it kill them just to charge the price that the publisher asks?
.

Amazon emailed me back and this is basically what they said.

"Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel" isn't available for Kindle. Your direct feedback to the publisher is helpful.

You may see a link labeled "Please tell the publisher: I'd like to read this book on Kindle." directly below the product image on some book detail pages:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/0805080686/?tag=absowrit-20

If a book you're interested in isn't currently on the Amazon.com website or doesn't have the request link, please contact the publisher directly and ask that they make their content available on Kindle.


I said thanks but no thanks, I'll just head to the bookstore and buy the hardcover.

See, I actually WANT the BOOK. In whatever form. I'm not loyal to Amazon nor my Kindle.
 

Birol

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That's a good question right now.
This whole situation reminds me of when the baseball players went on strike a few years ago. It wasn't the players or the owners that suffered in that stalemate, as it was a battle between the Haves and the Have Mores. No. The ones who suffered were the regular people who worked at the stadium in order to pay the mortgage, and the fans who looked to the game as an outlet for their own emotions.

Macmillian won't suffer through this battle. Neither will Amazon. And they're too big to hear or care about the cries of the people who will feel the impact of their little feud.
 

Unimportant

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The Book Depository is a good alternative (for books) to Amazon. I know several people who buy from them and have no problems.
Yes, I buy from them regularly and have found them to be excellent. (Editing to add: and they have free international shipping, so that makes them cheaper, for me, than Amazon.)

I stopped buying from or linking to Amazon a while ago, after Teh Gay ranking fiasco, and won't touch Amazon again.
 
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Sheryl Nantus

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Just another reason I hate proprietary formats. Nook not only reads B&N format, but also .pdf natively, which I can get from anyone of a number of places. Amazon forces you to send it to them to reformat before its useful to the device. Even if Nook format went away, I could still use the device.

The more Amazon tightens its grip, the more things will slip away from them. Stupid.

a little OT, but how are you finding the Nook? I was drawn in by the video, but when I saw the actual device the bleeding-over from one screen to the other didn't work for me.

but I *do* like the idea of having the ability to import other files. I'm still holding out hope for the $99 ebook reader that'll just do that - be a reader. I don't need all the bells and whistles.

Amazon's ability to "kill" books off the Kindle unnerve me. At least I know that if I buy books elsewhere, it's not at a corporation's whim that it stays there.
 

Brian Rush

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My biggest issue with all of this, aside from the obvious problems you have stated, is the following:

Publishing is in trouble right now. We need everyone to get together, have a sit, and figure out a new business model to help it survive. Once we've done that, then yes, maybe big business can go back to playing the game, but if we don't fix the problems first, there isn't going to be a game to play. This is not the time for Amazon to be throwing its weight around. Especially not less than a week after the birth of the iPad.

Bad form, Amazon. Bad form.

While I agree that it's bad form on Amazon's part, I don't agree with your reasoning in the paragraph above. Publishing certainly is in trouble, and a new business model is needed, but one won't be adopted unless publishing companies feel the pressure to do so. So I for one am not inclined to go easy on them. The current model was designed for brick-and-mortar bookstores: largish-to-huge print runs, aggressive marketing to book dealers, an advance and stingy royalties to authors, and hope the book dealers sell a lot of copies to readers in a fairly short time so they don't return them. The whole thing simply screams inefficiency, and it's a terrible model for marketing to on-line outlets, let alone e-books. McMillan seems to be trying to preserve the pricing that was predicated on the expectation that a certain percentage of books will be returned by booksellers -- and that's even before you factor in the near-zero per-volume cost of production and storage for e-books -- without any consideration for the fact that it has no basis in commercial reality.

At the same time, Amazon is being asinine. Or I think they are. Does anyone know if publishers require outlets like Amazon to prepay for e-books? I don't see how that would be workable . . . anyway, assuming that Amazon effectively pays the publisher royalties on e-books sold through the Kindle store rather than prepaying (much as it does for independent authors who self-publish there), I see no reason why it can't let publishers set whatever prices they want, however unreasonable I may think those prices (again, similar to what it does for independent authors). If a publisher prices itself out of the market, that's its problem and Amazon shouldn't be trying to save its publishers from themselves.

A pox on both their houses, say I.
 
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