The publishing world is abuzz! Amazon and Macmillan have skirmished over the way E-books are sold online, and the ripple effect will be felt around the world for years to come. How and why, you ask? The future of traditional publishing has never been more uncertain. No one knows how to market E-books yet, but this schnauzer senses a die of sorts has been cast.
Peruse literary agent Nathan Bransford’s blog and some other articles from the NY Times to explore the reasoning and reactions of the powerful players involved in this weekend’s crazy events.
Here’s a brief rundown of the action: Basically, Macmillan has had enough of Amazon’s stranglehold on establishing the price of E-books and told it so. Amazon, who has for years walked quietly and carried a big stick, simply took down the buy buttons for Macmillan books and E-books on the Amazon Web site. A bold and daring move, to be sure. Eventually, however, Amazon agreed to Macmillan’s wishes and allowed the publisher to set its own price for E-books.
Is this a good or bad thing? Is Amazon getting cocky? Will this pave the way for iPad dominance? John Scalzi thinks Amazon just shot itself in the foot. He lists some interesting points, mainly dealing with how Amazon has only succeeded in alienating many customers and authors. But, if you’ve read Bransford’s post, you probably saw that Amazon is already publishing and pricing e-books at a loss. Why should they be so adamant about losing money, then? To increase Kindle sales? Perhaps. To maintain their hold on the market? Definitely! And why not?
Now, let me share my humble opinion, based on this review by Amazon’s own Mary Kowal: Amazon is sending a message. It’s flexing its muscle in the face of publishers who don’t carry the same kind of clout Macmillan does. But perhaps Amazon is simply riding the high of being the industry super power and not realizing that it’s losing its stranglehold . . .And not just to the iPad. Google is positioning itself to take a huge chunk of E-publishing by storm, first with the launch of Google Editions, and then with its own tablet. Let’s just say this schnauzer won’t be buying an E-reader for another year or so. The waters will need to be a little calmer before I dip my paws in . . .
Now it’s your turn, reader. Post a comment below and let us know what you think!