Amazon's being reasonable with publishers over Apple ebook pricing

March 19, 2010

I read an article today on Silicon Alley Insider Amazon Tells Small Publishers It Will Stop Selling Their Books If They Join Apple which if that was the case would clearly be big news. However I read the quote and I’m left scratching my head. It actually doesn’t seem from what they print in the article that Amazon is actually threatening to de-list publishers to sell with Apple. I figure I should do a little more research and follow the links back to the original article from Melville House Publishing Hysterical Amazon exec calls 911, says accelerator is stuck and he can’t keep from running over publishers and it further solidifies my initial impression. Here’s how I’m paraphrasing the conversation between Amazon and the Publisher:

Publisher: Hey Amazon, we’re not happy with this “Wholesale Model” for selling ebooks on your website

Amazon: So? That’s how we do it.

Publisher: But Apple is letting us sell with the “Agency Model” which we’re much happier with, we want to sell through Amazon with the Agency Model too

Amazon: No, we’re not interested in doing that

Publisher: But you’re doing it with Hachette, Harper, Penguin and Simon & Schuster!

Amazon: Well, we’re in negotiations with them, nothing is final yet

Publisher: We want to negotiate too

Amazon: No, as matter of policy we are declining to negotiate an agency model with any publisher outside of the five who have already announced agreements with Apple’s iBookstore

Publisher: But we want to negotiate

Amazon: Tough shit

Publisher: Well, us little guys are going to band together and FORCE you to do it our way

Amazon: Go right ahead, we’re more then happy to remove you from our website, we’re not negotiating

Publisher: Oh yeah? Well you have cooties and I’m telling Mom


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Written by Andrew Shell, a web developer from Madison, WI.