Amazon and Macmillan Duke it Out

Shortly after agreeing to offer e-books to Apple for the iPad, Macmillan’s books have been pulled from Amazon. Ok ok, that’s not why they pulled the books but you have to wonder if there weren’t some hurt feelings there. According to the Times, they were pulled because Macmillan wants Amazon to charge more than the $9.99 set price for e-books. Until the dispute is resolved, all Macmillan titles will be unavailable (except through third party sellers).

I can see both sides of the argument here, I really can. Amazon wants to set low e-book prices to encourage buyers to drop $259 on a Kindle Wireless Reading Device (6" Display, Global Wireless, Latest Generation). So the publishers are getting shafted and Amazon gets to sell an expensive piece of equipment. I’m already a little anti-Kindle because of their proprietary DRM formatting and the big brother aspect (wherein they can go in and take away your books without your consent ala the 1984 incident). So why shouldn’t Macmillan get a bigger slice of the profits if they are helping sell this device?

On the other hand, as a reader, I wouldn’t pay more than $9.99 for an e-book anyhow. I know there are costs involved but there is no printing, warehousing, distributing etc. I’m not going to pay $15 when I can wait for a trade paperback at about the same price. What worries me is that Apple is going to have a different pricing model wherein the publisher sets the price. So, if you get an iPad, you may very well pay more for your e-books. What a bunch of crap. I thought e-books were supposed to revolutionize the market and make books more affordable. Seems to me that corporations are still just as greedy as ever and will charge whatever they like despite lower costs. Ridiculous.

1984 (Signet Classics)

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