Amazon Bullies Writers, Publishers, Consumers!

January 30, 2010

I’m a little late to the party with this one — we had a storm yesterday and it knocked out our internet for a while.  But in what appears to be fall-out from the iPad release and new competition between Apple and Amazon over ebook sales, Amazon has now halted direct sales of all MacMillan books, including Tor imprints, until MacMillan stops insisting that Amazon honor their price points in marketing their products.  In essence, Amazon is trying to bully MacMillan, and by extension other publishers, into charging a certain amount for books.  And until they get their way, they’ve pulled books off their cyber-shelves.  Now, on the one hand, Amazon wants to charge less for ebooks than MacMillan, and the MacMillan price point is probably too high.  But stopping sales of the books hurts authors and consumers, and given that I have releases due out this coming week and again later in February, I’m not happy about this.  Not at all.  Here are some links:

http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/01/29/amazon-pulls-macmillan-books-over-e-book-price-disagreement/

http://www.boingboing.net/2010/01/29/amazon-and-macmillan.html

http://sleigh.livejournal.com/283370.html

As my friend Laura Anne Gilman points out, this isn’t about price, and it’s not about saving consumers money.  It’s about control.  Amazon is terrified of the iPad and with good reason.  They want to maintain their grip on the publishing biz, and so they’re choking off my sales and those of all my friends at Tor and MacMillan in order to get their way.  Not cool at all.

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8 Responses to “Amazon Bullies Writers, Publishers, Consumers!”

  1. Can you give us the Tor.com link to your book that’s being launched this coming week? We can start blogging, tweeting, and posting the link on Facebook and other social networks. It would be especially nice if, to compensate somewhat, Macmillan could offer a substantial discount to those who purchase the book directly from Tor.com. Would the publicist give you a discount code to disseminate along with the link?

    I’m thinking you might need to send the link and information to me and others on the back channel initially, since WordPress.com is touchy about monetizing. However, I know many of us will be glad to help, if we can.

    Let’s make some lemonade!

  2. davidbcoe said

    I can direct you to my web site for information about the books — http://www.DavidBCoe.com — and I can recommend that you go to other vendors to buy the books. They’ll be sold by Barnes and Noble online, by Borders online, by Books-A-Million online. I don’t know that Tor will sell them directly and at a discount. But I really appreciate the thought, Robin. Many thanks!

  3. I’m not sure which title comes out next week. Can you advise?

    The Dark-Eyes’ War is available for preorder through the Tor.com store at the MSRP, but it won’t be released until February 16, 2010. The publisher and Amazon will probably come to some resolution by then.

    News is on its way to you via the back channel.

  4. davidbcoe said

    The title coming out next week is the paperback edition of THE HORSEMEN’S GAMBIT, book II in Blood of the Southlands. February 2 is the official release date.

    Thanks for the article you sent.

  5. Thanks! I’ll start planning a blogpost/status update/etc. for February 2, to coincide with the release, but I’ll hope that the big dogs stop snarling and make a play date before then.

  6. peacerenity said

    It seems as though Amazon is shooting itself in the foot in one arena in attempt to minimize losses in another. The fact is that online sales of physical books is a proven source of major revenue, while e-books remain a pie in the sky. Why Amazon would expose their throats to Barnes and Noble in attempt to fight Apple, baffles me. It’s not a matter of what’s “fair”: Amazon has a right to pull books from their cyber-shelves if they wish, and they’re relying on consumers and writers to bully Macmillan into giving in. What I can’t see if why they’re giving into the “Apple is Ruler of the Universe that Dominates Every Arena It Enters” mentality and screwing themselves over. If I was Barnes and Noble, I would utilize this opportunity to the fullest.

  7. davidbcoe said

    Again, Robin, many thanks. Very kind of you.

    Peace, I agree with you. They’re hurting themselves at the same time they’re hurting the rest of us. Your point about fairness is valid — their site, their rules, their decision. But it’s not creating any good will, I can tell you that. Thanks for the comment.

  8. […] By Robin Mizell The Amazon – Macmillan snarl couldn’t have happened at a worse time for David B. Coe, a fantasy author of long standing with Tor, a Macmillan imprint. Coe has two books coming out this […]

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