Amazon Playing Hardball With Book Publishers Over Kindle Pricing

Quoting a report in the subscriber-only Publishers Marketplace:

At least one independent publisher of scale was told categorically by Amazon in a recent phone call initiated by the etailer that Amazon would not negotiate agency selling terms with any other publishers outside of the five initial Apple partners. This publisher was told that if they switched to an agency model for ebooks, Amazon would stop selling their entire list, in print and digital form. In conversation, Amazon is said to have reiterated that as matter of policy they are declining to negotiate an agency model with any publisher outside of the five who have already announced agreements with Apple’s iBookstore.

“Agency model” is apparently industry jargon for publishers setting their own prices per title, rather than accepting a flat selling price set by Amazon.

I’ll echo Paul Constant’s question in response to this tactic:

So my question is this: How long is Amazon going to dick around publishers before customers start to think of their inventory as unreliable?

Thursday, 18 March 2010