Hachette is going the 'agency model' for compensation in their ebook sales.  Just like Macmillian.  Should we worry?   One publishing empire strikes out on a new route and the others must follow?  Didn't we just have this conversation about collusion?





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Hey, Jon Loomis, cool down.
I'm fine, Jon. Bit I am getting a little tired of reading a lot of uneducated opinionatin' on the Amazon/Macmillan tussle--particularly the variety that forgets or doesn't care that real, live authors are getting screwed by Amazon's "hardball" tactics through absolutely no fault of their own. I'm no fan of Amazon right now, as you can imagine.
Clearly you guys need an 'h' in your names.

I see Amazon has our books back up, Jon, but not the Kindle editions. I have a feeling we're only at the very beginning of a long road here.
Yep. And I think it's be naive not to expect more--and weirder--upheaval across the industry over the next few years. The rules--and deals--are all being rewritten as we watch from the sielines.
What I've been saying. Get the agents busy.
I don't want to stir up anything more, but Amazon has been very good for readers AND writers. Heck, they've kept a ton of books in print. If Amazon had never come along, most books would fade to out-of-print in a couple of years or less.
That may be true, but for me it doesn't excuse Amazon's monopolistic longings in this case, or its cavalier treatment of hundreds of Macmillan authors.
One of the things that Macmillian wanted was to control the RETAIL price of their books. This type of control is very rare in any type of retail. Sure, there is the 'suggested retail price', but it is still the retailer's choice on the final price. For Macmillian to ask for price control from Amazon just gets me to wonder that publishers are thinking in yesterday's world. Shame, shame on them.
I don't know that that's true. I worked in music retail/wholesale for a number of years, and manufacturers in that industry are often very strict in setting acceptable retail discount structures below MSRP--and they enforce those discount structures strictly, even with big online sellers (it's called MAP, or minimum advertised pricing). They have an interest, you see, in leveling the playing field so that big retailers like Guitar Center or Musicians Friend can't run the Mom and Pop music store on the corner out of business with loss-leader deals like the one Amazon's been pulling on ebooks. Publishers are thinking broad competition in retail bookselling is a good thing, and virtual monopolies in any area of the industry are not. They're thinking selling ebooks at a loss undercuts pricing across the board and eventually puts them out of business, along with a broad swath of booksellers and most of their authors.

And I'd be interested in a response from you, Jon, about Amazon's playing hardball with the careers and livelihoods of Macmillan authors. Does that seem like an acceptable, ethical business practice to you?
What Amazon did to Macmillan authors was temporary. Over the past few years, Amazon may have sold more Macmillan authors than any other source including B&N.

As for the retail price fixing, many companies have tried very hard to do that. Sometimes they would stop selling their products to a particular retail chain. Retailers retaliated by getting the products from other sources. A good example of this is Ping golf clubs. However, by and large, that is a thing of the past. Is a company really going to tell Walmart that the price is too low? Of course not because they will sell a lot of the product at the lower price.
What Amazon did to Macmillan authors was temporary.

Maybe. We'll see.

Over the past few years, Amazon may have sold more Macmillan authors than any other source including B&N.

I was a big fan of Amazon right up until they decided to screw me over in order to make a point with which I happen to vehemently disagree. I don't think Amazon's impulse to throw its weight around in order to get preferential treatment from publishers is something to be admired, but we'll just have to agree to disagree on that one. I also don't think holding up Walmart as an example of what's right and good about Amazon's business plan is particularly convincing, at least for me. In my view WalMart represents pretty much everything that's wrong with the current state of the retail economy in this country, particularly in its insistence on ever-lower prices from manufacturers as it seeks to fill every American household with incredibly cheap crap from China (and the hell with American manufacturing and the tax-base and everybody but WalMart stockholders). But we'll probably have to agree to disagree on that one, too.


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