Monday, February 1, 2010

We will never do this to you . . .

In the battle of the e-readers, publishers have fallen to Amazon's mighty sword more often then they would like. Amazon has determined the price of e-books, (generally around $9.99) and wants publishers to play the game and lower their prices too. At the moment, Amazon is not making any money by selling e-books at such a low price, but if they have anything to say about it, that will soon change.

This past weekend, I was reading about deals between Amazon and Macmillan, and wondered who would prevail. It seems as if Macmillan came out on top, of only for a little while. Read this article here in today's New York Times for a bit more background. Basically, Amazon told Macmillan that if they didn't meet Amazon's price demands, Amazon would cease to sell any of their books, electronic or print editions. Starting last Friday, you could not buy anything published by Macmillan (while not the largest publisher out there, they are definitely part of the Big Six). This includes the most recent Man Booker Prize winner, "Wolf Hall" but Hilary Mantel.

After the "1984" debacle last summer you would have thought that Amazon had learned that playing big brother is not ok. But I guess if you are one of the largest retailers in the world, you get to play the game by any rules you want. At Third Street Books, we will never censor what you buy, not allow you to purchase a title because we have decided not to carry anything by that author or publisher, nor will we come into your homes and take back the book that you have already paid for.