In the current economic climate, its been a bit rough for those that want to go green on a budget. Not everyone can...Read the rest of this article
Amazon faces anarchy in the UK with an e-book price battle
by Kathryn Robbins on October 17, 2010
Apple may have stolen some hype from Amazon’s Kindle with the introduction of the iPad, but they still can’t compete with the retail giant when it comes to content. Simply put, the Seattle based giant rules when it comes to e-books. Unlike Apple, Amazon has deals with a number of publishers that include Random House, the US publisher of Steig Larsson's wildly popular Millennium Trilogy. While they may have a lot of titles, Amazon is hoping to avoid some e-book pricing mistakes they’ve made stateside when it comes to Amazon.co.uk.
Amazon has never been shy when it comes to their relationship with publishers and even yanked all the physical and e-book titles from Macmillan off their site due to a dispute earlier this year. In an open letter posted to Amazon’s UK site they ask customers to “vote with their purchases” to ensure low prices for UK bibliophiles.
Like any other business, this battle is all about money. Authors and their publishers are pushing Amazon.co.uk to adopt the agency model that lets them, not Amazon, set prices for e-books. Amazon isn’t fond of the model because it doesn’t leave them any room to use the wholesale model in the same way that big box stores like Costco cut prices of new hardcover books.
Publishers argue that the agency model retains the intregity of each book and makes them and the author a healthy chunk of change. Amazon claims that their cheap e-books are a great selling point just as publishers warn that the price cuts are simply a way of selling more Kindles. Amazon does have a point, though. When they were forced to use the agency model in their US e-book sales, the higher priced e-books weren’t as attractive to buyers. According to the company, sales for agency model priced books are half that of other e-books sold.
Amazon has taken the unique approach to fire up their customers before going head-to-head with publishers. E-book fans have made their voices heard on Amazon.co.uk with angry comments like the following blurb: “Thanks for the information Amazon. I for one will definitely not be buying books at unfair prices and hope that everyone will stick to their guns and not let the publishers bully us into paying over the odds for their products.”