Following a dispute with Macmillan over its new terms of sale for ebooks, Amazon.com has temporarily suspended sales of both paper books and digital editions from the publishing giant.
In an anonymous blog post on the situation, Amazon.com said that Macmillan “has clearly communicated to us that, regardless of our viewpoint, they are committed to switching to an agency model and charging US$12.99 to US$14.99 for e-book versions of best-sellers and most hardcover releases.”
However, the blog post went on to say that Amazon.com will ultimately have to accept these terms “because Macmillan has a monopoly over their own titles”.
Amazon says it wants to offer its customers lower price points but has no choice in the matter when dealing with Macmillan.
Macmillan CEO John Sargent responded to the situation saying: “I told them they could stay with their old terms of sale, but that this would involve extensive and deep windowing of titles. By the time I arrived back in New York late yesterday afternoon they informed me that they were taking all our books off the Kindle site, and off Amazon.”
He added that Macmillan wanted take its current ink-on-paper business model and adapt it to the digital market.
“The price will be set for each book individually. Our plan is to price the digital edition of most adult trade books in a price range from US$14.99 to US$5.99. At first release, concurrent with a hardcover, most titles will be priced between US$14.99 and US$12.99,” explained Sargent.
He went on to say that this agency model would allow Amazon to make more money through sales of Macmillan books.
By Marie Boran
Photo: The Kindle DX e-book reader