Monday, February 1, 2010
Amazon and E-Book (Opinion)
I'm assuming you've all read about the Amazon and Macmillan Publishing brouhaha. If you haven't, let me summarize it for you.
Amazon sells e-books for $9.99. Macmillan Publishing wants Amazon to sell their e-books for 15 dollars. Amazon said no because they are trying to build their Kindle business and Amazon doesn't think their customers will pay fifteen bucks for an e-book.
(And they are right)
Amazon actually takes a small loss to post e-books for 9.99. Macmillan makes the same profit either way. So basically, Macmillan is trying to dictate to Amazon what the 'AMAZON' price for the book should be.
They've been negotiating and it fell apa rt so Amazon pulled all of the Macmillan books off their website when the talks crashed.
I think $9.99 is too much for an e-book. I think fifteen dollars is utterly ridiculous. You don't own an e-book. You can't transfer them to other readers or formats. You don't own the book. As you know from the problems with the 1984 book in 2009, your e-copy can be revoked at any time by the publisher.
I'll pay ten dollars for a paperback book because I can loan it out, keep it on my shelf to read later, or sell it. Once I read an e-book, it's worthless. Why should I pay the same amount for less?
And Macmillan Publishing has no right to tell Amazon what price to sell products for. Macmillan can price the content to Amazon at whatever price they like, but what Amazon sells it for is their business.
But I also think that yanking all of the Macmillan books off the electronic shelves is petty and the act of a bully (But that's another issue).
For me, it all boils down to this, I won't pay more than ten bucks for an e-book. I just won't. I don't want to pay ten bucks. I think six dollars is about the right price. After all, the publisher isn't printing anything, shipping anything, or storing anything.
As a writer, I know the writer gets very little from the e-sales. Plus, most writers just want to be read, many would sell e-books for less than print.
So where is all this money going? To bolster the failing print sales and line the pockets of publishing companies.
Everyone knows the Jobs just came out with the iPAD. Macmillan is trying to get Amazon to increase their prices to match they cost the iPAD will sell the e-book for. Gee thanks.
For that, I get a reader named after a sanitary product and I get to pay more for a book I don't own.
That helps Macmillan and Jobs, it doesn't do a thing for me.
I've been wanting a Kindle or a Sony e-reader but now I'm reconsidering. Do I want to invest that much into something that will end up costing me more in the long run?