Welcome to my blog!

I'm a divorced mom with a teenage daughter and two pre-teen sons. Writing is my first love. When I'm not writing or working or playing taxi to the kids, I also toy with photography and baking.

So, basically, my camera rarely sees the light of day and my mixer stands in the corner in permanent time-out.

To see some samples of my writing, you can check out my website: www.csrickard.com

Monday, February 1, 2010

Amazon Response

Amazon posted a response to the reaction of pulling MacMillan's books. While I'm not convinced on what the price for e-books should be, I do think that the market should decide. What is expensive to one person, could be reasonable to another and cheap to someone else. A major fan of an author is more than willing to pay a few more dollars to read the e-book version when it's released than waiting several months for the price to drop. The choice is theirs. Like everything else in a free market society, the price paid on newly released items are ALWAYS more expensive than the price on that same item months later. This happens in every industry, whether it's books, cars, clothing, movies. It's expected. Amazon makes it sound as if charging more for a new release is somehow duping the readers. If the readers don't like the price, they don't have to pay it. They can wait and buy it cheaper, like they do with every other item in every other industry. This is not about looking out for the customer, it's about a threat to Amazon's market share on e-books.

John Scalzi wrote an absolutely beautiful summary of this past weekend. I laughed from point 2 through the end. You've got to read it!


Below is the quote from Publisher's Weekly:

Amazon Answers: "Ultimately....We Will Have to Capitulate"
Could publishers have triumphed so quickly with their strategy to use Apple's entry into the market to move to an agency model for selling ebooks? (Note that the etailer says "ultimately." Immediately after posting this "announcement," disabled Macmillan buy buttons had not been restored yet.) Early Sunday evening, The Amazon Kindle team has just posted this to a forum on their site:

Dear Customers:

Macmillan, one of the "big six" publishers, has clearly communicated to us that, regardless of our viewpoint, they are committed to switching to an agency model and charging $12.99 to $14.99 for e-book versions of bestsellers and most hardcover releases.

We have expressed our strong disagreement and the seriousness of our disagreement by temporarily ceasing the sale of all Macmillan titles. We want you to know that ultimately, however, we will have to capitulate and accept Macmillan's terms because Macmillan has a monopoly over their own titles, and we will want to offer them to you even at prices we believe are needlessly high for e-books. Amazon customers will at that point decide for themselves whether they believe it's reasonable to pay $14.99 for a bestselling e-book. We don't believe that all of the major publishers will take the same route as Macmillan. And we know for sure that many independent presses and self-published authors will see this as an opportunity to provide attractively priced e-books as an alternative.

Kindle is a business for Amazon, and it is also a mission. We never expected it to be easy!

As reported previously here, other major publishers do in fact have plans for pursuing "the same route," so this may be just the first chapter.


Eye of Newt said...

Hi Christa

At the risk of putting my deep-running cynical streak on display, this is a battle between MacMillan and Amazon over who gets the money: MacMillan because it makes more money off low-volume "high end" books or Amazon, the volume king, which makes more money for selling more books. The interests of readers and writers have nothing to do with it.

The battleground is not unlike the recent war between BrightHouse and Fox over whether to charge consumers an extra dollar for Fox network programming. The issue there was whether Fox got the dollar or BH (and Cablevision) got the extra advertising income for more viewership. The consumers' interests do not figure into the equation for BH or Amazon. You can bet that the authors of the books being sold are at the very bottom of the interest pile. Ultimately the market WILL prevail because it's not (quite) as closed a market as cable TV, but it's going to be a long shake-out period.

Nice thoughtful blog - I like it.


Christa said...

Thanks Newt!

I agree, this is one of those battles of the titans. I will be the first to admit I don't know enough details about contracts and royalties to authors. I believe (and don't quote me here) that authors are paid a royalty percentage on each book sold. So, the more expensive a book, the more money the author makes.

I admit, I'm looking at this from an aspiring author's perspective. I'm well aware that the bulk of the additional revenue will go to the publishers, but for me, it's the principal. I don't like creative work being downgraded to something that can be "super-sized." I know, I know. I'm being naive and idealistic. I understand this happens everywhere, but that doesn't mean I have to like it.

Thanks for stopping by!