Thursday, April 1, 2010

The E-Pocalypse is Nigh! Amazon Vs. Everyone

Amazon's up to their tricks again, stoking the fires in the publishing world by making another risky e-book pricing decision.

Just last week, they'd threatened to remove the Buy buttons again if publishers didn't rethink the agency pricing model and make certain concessions. If you remember, when MacMillan took a stand about e-book pricing against Amazon a few weeks back, Amazon removed the buy buttons from all of MacMillan's titles, not just the e-books. It was a problem for several MacMillan authors and turned many readers against Amazon.

Well, just this week, it was announced that Amazon plans to lower prices to $5.99 on several new release titles. As you can imagine, publishers are less than thrilled, seeing this as just another way Amazon's looking to gain a monopoly on the industry and devaluing books as a whole.

What do you guys think? Are cheap e-books what the public wants? Or are they a larger problem for the future?


Michelle McLean said...

It's a tough call for me - as a reader, I see that price and think "ooo yeah!!! Cheap books!" And I get all giddy with visions of hundreds of books that I can afford dancing through my head.

But as a writer, I don't want the price of books, e or otherwise, to go too low...because that affects my bottom line. Writers get a pretty small piece of the pie as it is - whittling it down even further is a concern.

Rebecca Knight said...

I totally agree, Michelle :). I'm torn, too!

I think that newest article really does a good job highlighting what this will mean for the future of publishing.

KM said...

I think it's kind of sad how real books are going the way of the dinosaur. Sure, there will always be a market for print (though it might get super small), but e-books just don't have the same feel, you know? I definitely think they should be cheaper, and it's great as a reader. But like Ms. Michelle said, it doesn't do any favors for the authors.

Latasha Ewell said...

Publishers are going to have to diversify how they make money off of books, or risk losing even more in the future. Once e-reader’s like the kindle become commonplace they’re going to have to deal with piracy on top of Amazon’s antics.

Hopefully they won’t make the same mistakes the music industry did.