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Customer Discussions > Kindle forum


Macmillan E-books

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Initial post: Jan 31, 2010, 2:22:23 PM PST
Dear Customers:

Macmillan, one of the "big six" publishers, has clearly communicated to us that, regardless of our viewpoint, they are committed to switching to an agency model and charging $12.99 to $14.99 for e-book versions of bestsellers and most hardcover releases.

We have expressed our strong disagreement and the seriousness of our disagreement by temporarily ceasing the sale of all Macmillan titles. We want you to know that ultimately, however, we will have to capitulate and accept Macmillan's terms because Macmillan has a monopoly over their own titles, and we will want to offer them to you even at prices we believe are needlessly high for e-books. Amazon customers will at that point decide for themselves whether they believe it's reasonable to pay $14.99 for a bestselling e-book. We don't believe that all of the major publishers will take the same route as Macmillan. And we know for sure that many independent presses and self-published authors will see this as an opportunity to provide attractively priced e-books as an alternative.

Kindle is a business for Amazon, and it is also a mission. We never expected it to be easy!

Thank you for being a customer.

Posted on Jan 31, 2010, 2:26:57 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 31, 2010, 2:30:02 PM PST
My *conspiracy theory* doesn't sound so off base now.

"Publishers and Jobs and Bezos are in cahoots. If Jobs and publishers *win* and Bezos is *forced* to sell best sellers for $12.99 and new releases for $14.99, then all three possibly make more money. Bezos put up the good fight against the evil Apple and publishers for his true and loyal Kindlers so he doesn't lose face for *promising* to sell them for $9.99 (not that he ever promised, but he did advertise that price) and everybody except the consumer wins."

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 31, 2010, 2:27:27 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 31, 2010, 2:28:07 PM PST
ShirleyKat says:
I hope you will include a note that the price is under the control of the publisher and not Amazon as part of the information on every such book (like the kind of notes you provide for publishers who disable text to speech and lower the number of simultaneous device use licenses).

Posted on Jan 31, 2010, 2:29:03 PM PST
JP Reader Me says:

Posted on Jan 31, 2010, 2:29:32 PM PST
Good point, ShirleyKat! Amazon should definitely do that.

Posted on Jan 31, 2010, 2:29:41 PM PST
ScottBooks says:
I believe $14.99 is reasonable. It's a heckuva lot less than what I paid for new hardcovers. (And I get to read them on Kindle!) People who waited for paperbacks can wait for the cheaper eBook edition. You offer them for sale and we'll decide whether or not to buy them.

Posted on Jan 31, 2010, 2:31:27 PM PST
OK, I personally have no problem paying more for a new-release e-book. However, I would then expect that it be available on the same day as the DTB hardcopy. If they want to delay for a month or two then no, I would not be happy to pay the premium price.

Posted on Jan 31, 2010, 2:32:24 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 31, 2010, 2:33:44 PM PST
Mabalacat says:
If they want higher prices then it is time for them to provide quality formatting. Not just quickly scanned with no effort to fix the OCR errors. The frequent formatting errors would no longer be acceptable.

Posted on Jan 31, 2010, 2:33:26 PM PST
Bufo Calvin says:
Thank you so much for posting this!

I appreciate you taking the time to communicate with your customers.

Bufo Calvin
Amazon Author Central page:

Posted on Jan 31, 2010, 2:33:34 PM PST
[Deleted by the author on Jan 31, 2010, 2:33:47 PM PST]

Posted on Jan 31, 2010, 2:35:33 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 1, 2010, 7:05:01 PM PST
Pamela says:
I am not in the habit of supporting bullies and will forever refrain from purchasing any book published by Macmillan [hereafter known as "the bully"] or any of its divisions. I vote with my money and they just lost my vote.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 31, 2010, 2:36:04 PM PST
loriltx says:
I agree that $14.99 is more than reasonable. I'm still saving a lot of money.

Posted on Jan 31, 2010, 2:36:25 PM PST
Ladyvolz says:
Dear Scottbooks:

I do not know where you bought your new hardcovers and paid A LOT more than $14.99. I do believe I would have shopped around. In the past by comparing Amazon and other on-line retailers, I rarely paid more than $15 for new releases. All orders included free shipping and no sales tax. And then I owned the books and could re-sell them in the used book market..............

just my opinion of course.


In reply to an earlier post on Jan 31, 2010, 2:37:13 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 31, 2010, 2:39:01 PM PST
Paxton says:
ScottBooks - I have no issue with you over price. I will be disappointed, however, if Amazon's cedes the right to set that price to Macmillan and agrees to an "agency" relationship, where they are not in charge of their own purchased inventory.

Amazon - I will be sorry if you give in on this. Stating publicly now that will do so, I think, is also a mistake. I believe publishers will believe they can always have you over a barrel, when probably the reverse in true.

Steve Jobs is calling the shots here and costing the consumer more money.

Posted on Jan 31, 2010, 2:37:15 PM PST
as with everything else we buy, we make a choice, there are other things that we pay way too much for sometime, but we choose to do so, and should have the choice to do this with e-books. i just hope the other publishers dont follow suit, but if they do then there will be more choices to be made.

Posted on Jan 31, 2010, 2:37:40 PM PST
Rick says:
Thanks for posting the information. Try to come up with a deal where the first release of the ebook coincides with the hardcover edition for the higher price and then the price reduces to $7.99 when it is released in paperback. It is hard to pay double the price of a paperback for the ebook edition. Just a thought.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 31, 2010, 2:37:42 PM PST
loriltx says:
Evelynne: You are right. But it is my understanding that if Amazon agrees to sell for the $12.99-$14.99 price, then it will be available at the same time. Question becomes--how long does Amazon have to keep it at that price?

Posted on Jan 31, 2010, 2:38:08 PM PST
Phyl L. Good says:
Whatever the merits (or not) of Amazon, Apple et al seeking to gouge still more $$ from people's pockets for a bunch of pixels, it is simply EVIL to (even temporarily) penalize the AUTHORS and their income, by pulling the books off Amazon. None of those authors had anything to do with the boardroom dispute between Amazon and MacMillan! None of them.

I don't blame all those authors who are permanently delisting their books from Amazon. More power to 'em!

Posted on Jan 31, 2010, 2:38:09 PM PST
As someone who used to run a small business I'm very disturbed by Macmillon's tactics and refuse to support them.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 31, 2010, 2:40:31 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 31, 2010, 2:41:45 PM PST
The Amazon Kindle team says:

We don't believe that all of the major publishers will take the same route as Macmillan.

Yeah, I sure hope you are right on that call... I believe that you just showed a weakness and the others will pounce knowing you gave into Macmillan...

I still love my Kindle and still love my books. I just wish you would have stuck firm to not letting Macmillan dictate your prices as part of this settlement. Sounds like a victory for the iPad and Apple...

Posted on Jan 31, 2010, 2:41:13 PM PST
customer says:
Amazon, please stand strong on your pro-consumer, pro-book $9.99 price. Do not give in to Macmillan's pressure tactics. They will be the loser as consumers wait for their paperbacks because we have so many other wonderful choices on Kindle. Their volume will decline if they only have Ipad readers, and fewer hardcover purchasers among those who now prefer Kindle reading. Your volume will continue to increase because of your reasonable prices. Bargains most always win out. Take a small bump now in order for Macmillan to realize its mistake in just a few months and come running back to you, and the real future of books.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 31, 2010, 2:42:08 PM PST
Paxton says:
William Edwards - why should other publishers NOT follow suit? When the opponent gives up, why should anyone else listen to him?

This is what a lot of us wanted to avoid. It's a domino game now.

Posted on Jan 31, 2010, 2:42:24 PM PST
Personally I don't think you should give in. Far as I am concerned I won't use my hard earned money to support Macmillan or any of their companies that operate under them.

Posted on Jan 31, 2010, 2:42:34 PM PST
JP Reader Me says:
To me $14.99 isn't the issue. It is not as though every new release on the Amazon website was $9.99 up until this point. There have ALWAYS been new release and bestselling eBooks that have fallen into that (unless otherwise marked) category. Just as I bought a few hardback books a year at higher prices, I have also bought a few eBooks at high prices when I have felt they were worth the price tag and I just couldn't wait.

To me the issue is the Publishers price controlling across the board at the expense of the consumer. I will also vote with my dollars in protest of their tactics. Sadly, I have to believe the other Publishers probably aren't far behind.

Guess it's time to start checking out more Indie books.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 31, 2010, 2:43:01 PM PST
K. Landow says:
You should be more concerned about Amazon's tactics. Why shouldn't a publisher--who has made the financial commitment and cultivated a project--be able to set their own prices? If you made dog food, widgets, or moon pies do you want your biggest customer telling you what YOUR terms of business should be? No, I didn't think so.
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This discussion

Discussion in:  Kindle forum
Participants:  988
Total posts:  2570
Initial post:  Jan 31, 2010
Latest post:  May 29, 2014

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