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Amazon Continues Pressure On Publishers
14 August 2014
Amazon is continuing to squeeze publishers in their battle to control the e-publishing market and force prices for ebooks below the $9.99 mark.
They claim that publishers should be able to offer digital media at a fraction of the price of a traditional paperback. Of course publishers are incredibly reluctant but, according to Amazon, they have a history of resisting change.
One large multi-national publisher, Hachette, the Paris based publisher responsible for authors such as Donna Tartt, Malcolm Gladwell and JK Rowling with a turnover in 2012 of over $7bn is resisting and Amazons response has been to remove some titles from their website, offering alternatives or simply listing delivery times of several weeks.
Over 900 authors have signed an open petition, published in the New York Times, which denounces Amazon highlighting the fact that many authors generate meagre incomes and a further squeeze will have a significant, detrimental effect on the volume and quality of published material.
Amazon claim Hatchette is a dinosaur but as the novelist John Scalzi has pointed out in reality, this is a battle in which everyone is in it for himself, herself and itself, despite any claims to the contrary.
It will be interesting to see how the battle unfolds but we suspect Amazon has the upper hand and their ruthless reputation means they will probably get what they want.