Amazon is not dicking anybody around. It's the other way around. Booksellers have ALWAYS been adamant about their right to sell books for any price they damn well please. Otherwise all books would sell at the cover price.

Please note that the price Amazon sells books for does not have any effect on the price they pay the publisher for the book. If Amazon discounts, it comes out of THEIR cut, not the publishers. Just like any other bookstore in the country.

Publishers getting the right to force set RETAIL prices on books is bad for consumers, bad for bookstores, and ultimately bad for publishers, too.
I'm beginning to suspect that Paul doesn't know how anything works.
"and Mac experts are unexcited by the interface."

SHOCK unless it comes blessed by Jobs, Mac experts bitch.

And sorry, I'm not seeing Amazon as the bad guy here. They want to offer the lowest price to their customers rather than have publishers set up back room deals with companies like, say, Apple.
1. agreed with Fnarf--who's doing the dicking? publishers. like B&N and walmart, why can't a bookseller sell at whatever retail price they want?

2. why is this sort of thing shrugged off when apple does it? Amazon MP3 offers a 'daily deal' and apple goes batshit and pushes labels to opt out of Amazon or else.

not-seattle good, seattle bad.
Sorry, guys, I have to disagree. Amazon is asking for concessions from publishers. If publishers do not agree to said concessions they erase the buy button on said publishers titles. Amazon is desperately trying to hold on to the power in this new world of book pricing and publishing and, I have to say, I think they'll lose. And they're losing will be better for all of us.

Wal-Mart, Amazon, all the new paradigms of retailing have insisted on setting pricing to their advantage and threatening producers with shutting out their products. It's an unhealthy economic indicator, it creates a culture that devalues the product. When the culture of cheap takes over (making those purveyors of cheap, like Amazon & Wal-Mart gazillionaires, btw) we all lose.

I think Amazon will lose on the state tax law issue, I think they'll lose on thisn publisher e-book issue. The tide is turning...
Michael, when you ran a bookstore, how would you have reacted to a notice from a publisher that said "you'll carry all these other titles, too, and you'll sell them for X, or we won't let you have the titles you want"? What if you wanted to sell the NYT bestseller list for 10% off, and the publishers said "nuh-uh, full retail or we'll stop your account"?

That used to be the law in Britain until just a few years ago when booksellers won the right to sell at whatever price they want. That's what publishers want here.

I very much want Amazon to lose the sales tax battle, but this is something else.
So when Amazon plays hardball its a hissy fit, but when big publishers do it, it standing up to the man? Amazon has done more for books then any company in a long ass time.

And BFD on the Mac experts.
@5 If you have a book to publish are you going to do it with someone who can't sell it through the largest outlet around? I doubt it.

Amazon is not going anywhere and to say they are desperate is laughable. While there is a certain sadness to it, it is really the brick and mortar book stores, like video rental stores, that are desperate.
When I ran a bookstore the publishers told me what price they would charge me for a book. There was no haggling. The retail price was printed on the product. So I don't have any problem with a publisher setting the price for a title.

What I have a problem with is B&N, Amazon and any others trying to undercut each other for the best deal. It hasn't yet been said here but that process totally cuts the independent stores out of the conversation. Collectively or individually they have no power with the publishers to compete for adventageous pricing. This is a game about giant corporations trying to make the most profit possible. And that's all it is. There's nothing wrong with profit. But there is something wrong with an uneven playing field. Amazon is trying to set up an unfair advantage that will keep them seen as the cheapest in the biz. But it's not their business. It's the book business. And publishers are beginning to see that they don't have to play by Amazon's rules. And that's a good thing.
@1: Not quite true. Amazon's whole demand in the Macmillan slapfight two months ago was specifically to be able to set the publisher-side purchase price. Namely, Amazon wanted to pay the publisher 30% of the customer sale price -- but Amazon would also determine what that price would be, so if they decided to loss-leader your book down to pennies, their payment to the publisher would be based on that.
@ Fnarf, don't confuse Amazon or major chains like B&N and Borders with "booksellers." Few independent sellers have any choice but to sell books at the list price. Michael @ 9 is right.
So Amazon is not scared?

Let see before iPad is introduced Amazon calls all the publishers to
find out what is Apple asking for.
They start the 70-30 offer with long term.
They do the MacMillan fiasco.
They want a browser in the kindle
They want to have multi-touch.
They buy a company doing multi-touch screen.
They license Microsoft patents so they don't get sued.
Now this.

Oh ya Amazon is not scared. not at all.
Anyone who thinks Amazon is doing this for the consumer needs to look at this again. Maybe it looks wonderful that Amazon is willing to lose money on each ebook sale (or so it's generally said) "for us", but they are rapidly gaining market share. With more market share, they have more power in each contract negotiation, and suddenly, it's Amazon setting all the terms. Amazon's doing what they think is best for their business, and the publishers are doing what they think is best for theirs. For consumers - they just want us to keep opening our wallets. That's it.

But yes, Paul, I have reached the point where I think Amazon is unreliable. I used to buy nearly EVERYTHING at Amazon, but no longer. They lost me as a book customer long ago, but now they're losing me on the rest, too. They don't care - I'm just one person. I'm just glad that the next time they piss off their customers - which seems to happen fairly regularly now - I'm not going to be one of them.
Face it, pussies-
Anything Seattle can do
(MicroSoft, Amazon)
Apple can do better...

you've either 'got it'
or you don't.

Seattle don't...
Publisher may print the price on the cover, and a retailer may choose to sell at a lower price, but the only negotiation that goes on between publisher and seller is on the wholesale price paid for the book. That is where the big chains get the advantage over the smaller stores. They are not paying the same price as a local store for that book to be on their shelves (virtual or otherwise). SO , often times the big 30% off sticker you see on a book is coming out of the publisher's end, not the book chain's, and at the retail level it is the independent store that really feels the pinch of this.

Please wait...

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