Great articles on other sites
- iiNet founder Michael Malone finally backs TPG Telecom takeover
- How and why the public sector must make friends with artificial intelligence
- Second anniversary of IT pricing report approaches - Computerworld
- Doctors spend 15 mins opening Fiona Stanley Hospital software
- What to expect from Abbott's national cyber security strategy
- ISPs need more time for data retention compliance
- TPG iiNet bid: major shareholders complain
- Qld emergency services payroll replacement on the rocks
- Victoria to wait another eight months for public IT dashboard
- Superloop CEO slams Australian govt tech policies
Renai's other site: Sci-fi + fantasy book news and reviews
- Kim Stanley Robinson’s new book Aurora is due in July
- What’s the future of “Grimdark” fantasy?
- An epic rant from Richard Morgan about nuance in writing
- Brandon Sanderson’s Firefight: Review
- Get into Jeff VanderMeer’s head as he writes the Southern Reach trilogy
- George R. R. Martin’s next book The Winds of Winter won’t arrive in 2015
- Alastair Reynolds’ Poseidon’s Wake launches 16 April
- Ann Leckie’s Ancillary Sword: Review
- Ann Leckie finishes Ancillary Mercy
- Hannu Rajaniemi’s The Fractal Prince: Review
International - Written by The Guardian on Monday, February 27, 2012 9:28 - 0 Comments
Amazon.com withdraws thousands of ebooks in pricing row with publishers
Thousands of ebooks from independent publishers have been removed from sale on Amazon.com after a clash over trading terms.
The Independent Publishers Group, the second largest independent book distributor in the United States, said in an update that “Amazon has decided not to offer our Kindle editions at this time. Our other electronic formats are available from booksellers nationwide.” The removal of more than 4,000 Kindle ebooks, including IPG bestsellers Pamela Des Barres’ groupie memoir I’m with the Band, child discipline title 1-2-3 Magic by Thomas Phelan and murder mystery Snow Blind by Lori Armstrong from Amazon.com follows the IPG’s refusal to agree to new terms from online retail giant, according to its president Mark Suchomel.
“Amazon.com is putting pressure on publishers and distributors to change their terms for electronic and print books to be more favourable toward Amazon. Our electronic book agreement recently came up for renewal, and Amazon took the opportunity to propose new terms for electronic and print purchases that would have substantially changed your revenue from the sale of both,” Suchomel told publishers in an email printed in the book trade newsletter Publishers Lunch.
“It’s obvious that publishers can’t continue to agree to terms that increasingly reduce already narrow margins,” he continued. “I have spoken directly with many of our clients and every one of them agrees that we need to hold firm with the terms we now offer. I’m not sure what has changed at Amazon over the last few months that they now find it unacceptable to buy from IPG at terms that are acceptable to our other customers.”
The titles are still for sale in their print formats on Amazon.com, and Suchomel urged publishers to let readers know about e-versions available elsewhere. “There is no better way to show our valued customers how much we appreciate doing business with them than to send orders their way,” he wrote.
UK publisher Alma Books, which is distributed in America by the IPG, said it “100% supported” Suchomel’s stance. “If Amazon came to us asking for 10-15% extra they would have a fight,” said founder Alessandro Gallenzi. “It can never work if a party tries to bully another into submission.”
The stand-off with the IPG follows a similar row in 2010, when the “buy new” button was removed from major Macmillan titles in the US after the publisher proposed new terms for ebooks. Amazon.com eventually capitulated, saying it would have to “accept Macmillan’s terms because Macmillan has a monopoly over their own titles”.
Macmillan is a major US player, publishing titles including Hilary Mantel’s Booker prize-winning Wolf Hall and Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine. Although the IPG represents a wide range of publishers and titles, it lacks such big names. Gallenzi, though, believes it still has the clout to stand up to Amazon.
“The Amazon myth is one of almost endless availability,” he said. “They have built their success on an illusion that you can get any book there, and cheaper than from their competitors. Throwing a spanner in the works with a big dispute like this one, when 4,000 books are not available to buy, will create a huge disruption. The consequences, even though the publishers are small, can hurt it very badly. I think that even a smallish distribution group can, and I hope will, stand up to them and fight. What is at stake is the ability of independent publishers to hold their own ground, and to still have a bit of control over pricing and their own margins.”
Publishers are not the only part of the literary world at war with Amazon. After major US booksellers including Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million said they would not be stocking Amazon Publishing titles earlier this month, last week American writers body the Authors Guild set out its stall in a fiery statement castigating the online retailer’s business practices. Citing Amazon.com’s “predatory pricing” and its “anticompetitive” tactics, the Guild said that “a truly competitive, open market has no indispensable player that can call the shots. The book publishing industry has such a player, and Amazon is poised and by all appearances eager to use its muscle to rip up the remaining physical infrastructure of book retailing and the vital book-browsing ecosystem it supports. If Amazon succeeds, the free market will have had little to do with it.”
While its UK equivalent the Society of Authors would not go as far, deputy general secretary Kate Pool did say that Amazon’s “dominance” was “worrying”. “It could very easily mean the death of the high-street bookshop and that in my view would be extremely damaging to the entire industry,” she said.
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010
Image credit: Amazon
Blog, Policy + Politics - Jul 31, 2015 12:43 - 0 Comments
More In Policy + Politics
- Four months later, data retention funding model still incomplete
- Less talk, more action: Entrepreneur tells ‘Labor for Innovation’
- Bronny Copter is here to save us from Bishop’s Choppergate
- 7:30 exposes Aussie Hacking Team industry
- Hypocrisy? Fletcher pushs tech exports to China while TSSR bill looms
Blog, Enterprise IT - Jul 31, 2015 14:16 - 1 Comment
More In Enterprise IT
- Microsoft wants to win you back with Windows 10
- Qld Govt Depts have no disaster recovery plan
- ASD releases Windows 8 hardening guide
- ASG picks up $35m CIMIC IT services deal
- Datacom completes mammoth Health ICT takeover
Industry, News - Jul 28, 2015 12:37 - 0 Comments
More In Industry
- iiNet shareholders vote ‘yes’ for TPG buyout
- iiNet chairman “proud” as TPG sell-out looms
- Kotaku alleges abuse, gross staff neglect at retailer EB Games
- Aussie software firm Marketplacer grabs $10m
- Expert360 pulls in $4.1m for consultancy 2.0
Consumer Tech, News - Jul 29, 2015 17:14 - 11 Comments
More In Consumer Tech
- Older Australians embracing video games
- Gasp … Qld will fuel electric vehicle charging stations with solar
- Oops … Tesla enthusiast charges car on Qld windfarm
- Netflix Australia: Review
- RAC builds electric vehicle highway in WA