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Amazon.com removes Macmillan books from site!!

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ChristineR

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OK. I'm always a little slow on the uptake with these things, but whose side was I supposed to be on? Amazon didn't want to raise the price of eBooks from $10 to $15.

To me, that's good for readers. I don't want to pay that much for an eBook. It's ELECTRONIC for gosh sakes! Can't tell me the cost of production has gone up nearly 50%. Frankly, I think $10 is outrageous to pay for a bunch of electrons.

And the extra $5 ISN'T going to raise how much the writer gets. It's all going into the publisher's coffers.

So from my standpoint, Amazon was in the right.

Am I misunderstanding this?

Once Amazon has made the Kindle the e-book standard and is able to force all e-book publishers to pay licensing fees and release their books in Kindle format, they intend to raise the prices to an amount that will cover the publisher's expenses, the Kindle license, and of course, profit. If you'll recall, the expenses for an e-book are only a dollar or two less than the expenses for a paper book.
 

Slushie

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I thought this has already been covered? It's not about the production costs; it's about timing. Price the e-book to the hardcover when that's the only physical version available; price the e-book to the paperback when that version becomes available.
 

Shadow_Ferret

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Yes. :)

I would check out the Scalzi links above for a pretty thorough (and surprisingly even-handed, considering) overview of the issue.

I did read it. I couldn't make any sense of it. Maybe he should have skipped the cutesy dialogue and just written it like a straight opinion piece.
 

Terie

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To me, that's good for readers. I don't want to pay that much for an eBook. It's ELECTRONIC for gosh sakes! Can't tell me the cost of production has gone up nearly 50%. Frankly, I think $10 is outrageous to pay for a bunch of electrons.

You're paying for electrons? When I buy a book, regardless of format, I'm paying for content. If you want good content, you need to pay a fair price for it. This really has been thoroughly hashed in this thread though. Go back and read posts from the likes of Medievalist and Uncle Jim.
 

Gillhoughly

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People will either get what this is really about or they won't.

What I get is that, here and now, Amazon has cut into my sales.

I get that it is trying to control the e-book market, claiming they're only looking out for the readers, when it is the readers they will eventually shaft down the road when Amazon sneaks the prices up. I needed a beverage alert when I saw them accusing Macmillan of being a monopoly for their own books.

I get that they're freaking out that the much cooler iPad might tempt away Kindle buyers.

I get that Jeff Bezos will disable sales for the NEXT publisher if he can get away with this stupid stunt. Apparently he has, because my titles are still disabled.

Get your head out of your arse and smell the coffee, Jeff. You aren't the big dog any more and you just bit the wrong bunch of people.

And BTW, one can get Macmillan e-books from B&N for 9.99. NO DISABLING.

YAY to SWFA for their stand on this!!!

Perhaps this writer's explanation of overhead costs and production efforts for a single book will make the issue more clear. Bolding is mine.

"It’s also been suggested that I leave Macmillan in protest of their business practices in the Amazon ebook pricing dispute, and go elsewhere. First of all, it’s not the least bit clear to me that Macmillan has done anything unprincipled in the ebook pricing negotiations. Amazon clearly has behaved in an unprincipled manner with delisting the print titles that come under different contracts and distribution channels and are thus completely unrelated to ebooks in a business sense, but that’s been my point all along — the delisting really isn’t Macmillan’s responsibility in any way that I can see, as it was a unilateral decision by Amazon. The rest of the negotiation issues are, frankly, just business."
 
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HapiSofi

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I just saw Gillhoughly's comment #174 go by on Twitter under the heading, "What authors really think."
 
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Gillhoughly

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A 15 point drop.

Way to go, Bezos. Bet the stockholders are even more thrilled with you today. They can join with the Macmillan writers. We're considering a visit to Seattle.

gallery_49404_3_93898.jpg

 

HConn

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OK. I'm always a little slow on the uptake with these things, but whose side was I supposed to be on? Amazon didn't want to raise the price of eBooks from $10 to $15.

To me, that's good for readers. I don't want to pay that much for an eBook. It's ELECTRONIC for gosh sakes! Can't tell me the cost of production has gone up nearly 50%. Frankly, I think $10 is outrageous to pay for a bunch of electrons.

And the extra $5 ISN'T going to raise how much the writer gets. It's all going into the publisher's coffers.

So from my standpoint, Amazon was in the right.

Am I misunderstanding this?

Yes, you're misunderstanding this.

The physical printing and shipping of the book doesn't cost very much at all. A couple of bucks, tops. Most of the cost of a book, including those 26 dollar hardcovers, is the writing, editing, designing, copy editing, marketing, art design, etc etc.

It's the <i>content</i> that costs so much. If you think ten bucks is too much to pay for all the work that goes into a book, you're misunderstanding the process of making it.

Also, making a viable ebook--that looks professional in several formats and is up to date on the latest OS--costs money.

I recommend cruising around Scalzi's blog and reading the other threads. Read this one, since you seem to have skipped to the end to reply. There's a lot to learn.
 

dragonjax

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I get that Jeff Bezos will disable sales for the NEXT publisher if he can get away with this stupid stunt. Apparently he has, because my titles are still disabled.

I blogged about this yesterday -- the next publisher growling is none other than HarperCollins, by way of Rupert Murdoch. He, too, doesn't want to keep the $9.99 price point. And I promise you this: If Amazon disabled the buy buttons on HarperCollins titles, that would be all over Fox News. (Got to love News Corp.)

Ah, yes, I see it now: the likes of Bill O'Reilly and Glenn Beck all screaming about how Amazon is greedy and evil. (And then you know that MSNBC, CNN, and The Daily Show would all have to pick up on the story.)

Which would be utterly brilliant.

I say, go ahead, Bezos. I double-dog dare you to disable HarperCollins buy buttons.
 

M.R.J. Le Blanc

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I blogged about this yesterday -- the next publisher growling is none other than HarperCollins, by way of Rupert Murdoch. He, too, doesn't want to keep the $9.99 price point. And I promise you this: If Amazon disabled the buy buttons on HarperCollins titles, that would be all over Fox News. (Got to love News Corp.)

Ah, yes, I see it now: the likes of Bill O'Reilly and Glenn Beck all screaming about how Amazon is greedy and evil. (And then you know that MSNBC, CNN, and The Daily Show would all have to pick up on the story.)

Which would be utterly brilliant.

I say, go ahead, Bezos. I double-dog dare you to disable HarperCollins buy buttons.

Oh good, so I'm not the only one hoping he'll be that stupid and do it. I would love to see the downfall that'll cause.
 

thothguard51

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I like the new release from MacMillan, in which it clearly states they are ready to give authors a higher royalty base on this new agency model. Agents should be happier too, and willing to work harder to get this new higher royalty.

OR am I still missing something?
 

dragonjax

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I like the new release from MacMillan, in which it clearly states they are ready to give authors a higher royalty base on this new agency model. Agents should be happier too, and willing to work harder to get this new higher royalty.

OR am I still missing something?

Don't forget that Amazon would **make more money per book** with the agency model.
 

willietheshakes

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I blogged about this yesterday -- the next publisher growling is none other than HarperCollins, by way of Rupert Murdoch. He, too, doesn't want to keep the $9.99 price point. And I promise you this: If Amazon disabled the buy buttons on HarperCollins titles, that would be all over Fox News. (Got to love News Corp.)

Ah, yes, I see it now: the likes of Bill O'Reilly and Glenn Beck all screaming about how Amazon is greedy and evil. (And then you know that MSNBC, CNN, and The Daily Show would all have to pick up on the story.)

Which would be utterly brilliant.

I say, go ahead, Bezos. I double-dog dare you to disable HarperCollins buy buttons.

Well, Murdoch has been growling, but Hachette beat News Corp. to the punch, informing agents today that they are moving to an agency model for their ebooks.
 

MacAllister

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I can't take credit for finding the link - I got it from the Twitter-river about #amazonfail.

Susan Piver's piece is brilliant. Everyone should read it.

Making Light has a LOT of terrific discussion, commentary, and links to related stories and posts in the comments threads of the Macmillan/Amazon related posts, too -- and the signal-to-noise ratio in the comments thread is much better-than-average.
 

Khanada

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OK. I'm always a little slow on the uptake with these things, but whose side was I supposed to be on? Amazon didn't want to raise the price of eBooks from $10 to $15.

To me, that's good for readers. I don't want to pay that much for an eBook. It's ELECTRONIC for gosh sakes! Can't tell me the cost of production has gone up nearly 50%. Frankly, I think $10 is outrageous to pay for a bunch of electrons.

Hi Shadow Ferret --

Cost is just one consideration in setting prices for a product. Slushie mentioned the timing -- if you want something when it first comes out, you pay for that. If you wait, the price comes down.

Another consideration is -- well, how much are people willing to pay for the thing?? What will the market bear?

Let's say I make Super Cool Gadget. It costs me $5 to make. But I do all this market research, and I learn that people will pay me $15 for it. So I price it at $15, and they pay me! So why should I only charge $7? At $7, it's going to take me a long time to be able to hire more people to help me make more Super Cool Gadgets, their accessories, and it will take me far longer to have the money to make Really Super Cool Gadget 2.0. If I don't want to expand my business, $7 is probably fine. But if I want to grow, I'd better consider charging what people will pay.

So the publishers are experimenting some here. They think people will pay $15, so they're going to try it. Maybe you won't pay. You're not getting as much as a paper book, you say. And for you, you're absolutely right.

But I say -- well, I'm getting my book the instant I press "buy". I don't have to leave my warm comfy chair. I don't need to wait 2 or 3 days for my friendly UPS man. I don't need to clear off my bookshelves to try to find a place to store this book. When my friend who never returns things asks to borrow my book, I can say, "Sorry! It's an ebook that I can't lend out. But I really would lend it if I could." (wink)

So for me, it's totally worth $15. I buy it at $15. Depends on the book, of course. But I buy.

So the publishers are hoping there's enough people like me out there to make up for the people who won't pay $15. If there's not, the price will change. Again and again.

Does this help any, or does it just make it worse??? Really, we can't hope to fully understand. People go to school for this for years, and they get out and work to become experts, and even they argue with each other as to how this all shakes out.
 

MacAllister

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I've been wondering sort of idly (since Hapi mentioned a sneaking suspicion that Amazon isn't run by book people, and they may in fact be a bunch of feral nutbars) how much of this kerfluffle is due to a persistent and fundamental misunderstanding on Amazon's part.

That is, I'm suspecting that they think books are interchangeable -- sort of like bags of peanuts, or types of apples. Publishers, in that model, really resemble brand names or heirloom types....but there are perfectly good small growers of peanuts (or apples) and if they can just train their consumers to stop being such brand snobs, then those consumers will learn to be just as happy with CreateSpace offerings.

I would have thought that the abortive Amazon Shorts program would have cured them of that notion, though.
 
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