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I guess the majority of you have already heard about the Macmillan v Amazon hatefest, huh?

Well, for those who haven’t, this is the short version:

1. Macmillan Publishing want to solely dictate and fix ebook prices up to $15, and they don’t want retailers involved other than to sell them.

2. Amazon weren’t happy with that so told them to fuck off, by removing the ‘Buy It Now’ buttons from all Macmillan titles.

3. Some authors became angry and blamed Amazon.

4. Some bird over at DA called Rebecca, took it quite personally because she hates, HATES, I tell you, e-books, and wont be shopping at Amazon again because they are depriving her of print books, just to win an argument about ebooks, which she HATES by the way.

5. Amazon gives in, because they want to be able to offer their customers Macmillan titles, what with them being one of the six big publishing houses out there.

That’s about it, right? Some of the details may be sketchy, but for more details, pop over to Dear Author, who have the skinny on the lovefest.

I’m slowly but surely learning to despise traditional publishers who can’t seem to see the wood for the trees. There is absolutely no way in hell I would pay $14.99 for an ebook. That’s practically daylight robbery. Any author who thinks that Macmillan are doing the right thing, needs a good slap. The economy is in the shitter, people are losing jobs left, right and centre, and those twats want to sell ebooks for $15? Crazy bastards. I bet it was a man who came up with that idea.

Amazon are hardly whiter than white though, I’m still fucked off with them over the whole #Amazonfail scandal. Money-grabbing bastards. I hate that they can delete books you paid for, if the fancy takes them. That’s just not effing cricket.

After all of this hoo ha, I’m so grateful that I never got a Kindle, I mean who the hell wants to buy books that aren’t really yours? Surely that’s what libraries are for?

I’ll stick to getting my books from The Book Depository, Amazon suck and they always will I fear.


  • What does “that’s just not effing cricket” mean?

    I grew up in a country where we played cricket, so I know what the game is. And I don’t need a translation on ‘effing’. But I’ve never heard the phrase as a whole.



  • Las
    February 2
    2:14 am

    I’ve never shopped at Amazon (not for any particular reason, just hasn’t happened) so fwiw…

    It’s stupid for Macmillan to think they can get away with charging that much for ebooks, but it’s their right to do so…their product, after all. While Amazon’s prices work better for the consumer, it’s still a shit move on their part. They should charge the price that the publisher wants, and when those books don’t sell, well, Macmillan will surely change their tune, won’t they? I’m not one of those “the free market is god!” people but in this case the market should rule.


  • Bev Stephans
    February 2
    2:14 am

    Every post that I have read so far (I’m getting eyestrain), acts like Amazon is the only online bookseller. If you are a dead-tree books kind of person, there are several to choose from. My only concern is that MacMillan will try their bullying tactics at other online retailers.

    @Venus Vaughn. If something isn’t “cricket”, it just means it’s not right.


  • Sometimes the enemy of your enemy is also your enemy. Macmillan will get their from theirs readers, IMHO, not Amazon. Shops do not set recommended retail price.


  • eggs
    February 2
    9:01 am

    Sounds like Macmillan and Amazon deserve each other. Why is it that booksellers and publishers think it’s ok to treat their customers with such contempt?

    All genre readers have at one time or another experienced the eye roll at the counter when buying the “trash” that keeps the B&M bookstore afloat, or read the articles where the publishers sorrowfully declare that they must publish our popular trash so they have the money to subsidize Real Literature, or experienced the price-gouging on the ebook that we buy despite the outrageous markup – because we are such keen readers we can’t wait to get to the store. I can’t think of any other business where the best customers are treated with such contempt.

    Now Macmillan and Amazon are arguing over who gets the screw the reader hardest. Macmillian wants to do it by forcing prices higher and Amazon wants to do it by monopolizing the market to the extent that they will be able to dictate what the market will be. Neither of these options are good for readers or authors, and yet it seems clear that both McM and Amazon are prepared to screw both in their petty war. Morons.


  • Jane
    February 2
    3:54 pm

    I think that we consumers are the biggest losers in this mess.


  • Good ole, Rebecca does hate e-books. Don’t understand why. I should post a comment over there that so far I’ve only been published in e-book. That should really set her off.



  • @Cher: she does, and for someone who alleges that she has learned a lot about the publishing industry, she sure is showing a complete and utter lack of understanding as to epublshing. I am still going WTF at some of her statements… including the implication that ebook fans are eveel for not being understanding of the publishers that want to overcharge us for the “privilege” of wanting our books in eformat.

    They are lucky that the number of readers out there that come online and bother is so small. If the majority of readers were online and bothered to read about the industry and the news related to it, the shit would have hit the fan already.


  • Two things:

    1. Customers of book publishers are retail buyers, not end readers. The people who decide what books the rest of us will have the opportunity to buy on bookstore shelves. In that respect, Amazon is like another Borders/B&N/Waterstone’s. It wouldn’t be cricket to let B&N set the price they paid for the books from the distributor or publisher. In this, Macmillan is treating Amazon like any other retailer, rather than letting it essentially sublicense electronic distribution/publication rights.

    2. Macmillan is counting on people throwing their hands up in disgust and not buying that ebook, because they don’t want the lower-priced ebooks to outsell the hardbacks, which are more profitable for them. They are counting on early adopters/”can’t live without it now!” readers to buy at the higher prices, and then themselves determining when it is time to lower the price.


  • Well, the snowball effect is here: http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20100203/tc_nm/us_newscorp_amazon

    Goodbye $9.99 ebook pricing for the equivalent hardcover.

    I don’t begrudge publishers their right to set prices… but I do think they are making a huge mistake in not giving options to readers of ebooks (at least I haven’t seen anything on the subject of how they plan on setting pricing etc.).


  • Carolyn
    February 4
    5:06 am

    @Mireya, Actually the president of MacMillan has laid out the plan for ebooks that he and other leaders of the big publishers are carrying out: they want to kill ebooks and if they’re not able to do that, they want to delay their popularity for as long as possible. He stated that he doesn’t respect people who don’t put on their coat and go out and purchase an actual book. What he left unstated is that this is all about boosting quarterly profits.


  • I find it interesting that nobody’s mentioning Apple’s motive in all this. Macmillan had never tried to come down on Amazon like this until Apple revealed iPad. (Apple’s been in negotiation with big NY pubs for its iBook store.)

    I don’t think Macmillan, Apple and Amazon care about maximizing customer value. They’re worried about maximizing their own profit, and they seem willing to stab one another if that’s what it takes.


  • Thanks Carolyn… and as an ebook fan that makes me feel so “special”.

    Blame us readers a bit more for the epic fail your business model is turning out to be in this economy why don’t ya. Frankly, I shouldn’t be surprised. That’s the mentality of corporate America.


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