So I was going to write about the editorial muck I’m neck deep in, then Nora brought this to my attention and everything else got derailed.
So here’s what happened. Publishing giant Macmillan, parent company of SciFi/Fantasy giant Tor, decided it wanted its ebooks to cost around $15. Amazon, primary retailer for ebooks, didn’t like this at all, and, to show their strong displeasure, have pulled all Macmillan books, print and electronic, from Amazon.com. (Though Macmillan imprints like Tor seem to be fine).
This is certainly only temporary, but it is a pretty powerful statement from Amazon about who really controls the price of ebooks. However, while they battle it out, the real victims (as it always is in wars) are the civilians, in this case, the authors. These are people whose books have just vanished from Amazon through no fault of their own, and that sucks. Now, of course there are other retailers, but come on. This is Amazon.com, the online book behemoth. This isn’t small change, especially for scifi/fantasy with our tech savvy audience.
This is also a first shot in the coming greater conflict between retailers and publishers as ebooks move from a fringe format to a real money maker. Who really controls the price? What will that price be? It’s a very interesting conflict to watch for signs of what the future holds for ebooks. Meanwhile, however, it really sucks to be a Macmillan author.
What do you think? Would you buy an ebook for $15? Who’s in the wrong here, Amazon or Macmillan?
ETA: Macmillan’s explanation via Publisher’s Lunch (thanks to Nora for the link, she finds everything!)
UPDATE! Amazon has relented! They will be selling Macmillan books again. Their explanation is a bit backhanded, but that’s to be expected from someone who’s been pushed to do something they don’t want.