Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Shifting is the new stable

The book industry is currently in a massive sea change on any number of levels. The economy, on the whole, is still in the tank. People are constantly looking for what is cheapest. Technology is making almost everything shift weekly. It's all a giant mess, in short.

So I'm getting to this latest piece of news after it started, peaked and resolved itself in a very bizarre manner. But it is still worth noting that MacMillan told Amazon to take a long walk off a short pier over this past weekend. With Apple's new I-Pad becoming a serious player, MacMillan told Amazon they no longer were willing to sell all e-books for $9.99 In the past this might not have meant much since Amazon had such a strangle-hold on the e-purchasing world. But, finally, a publisher was taking a stand and had some significant backstanding.

Amazon released what amounted to a press release to their Kindle owners and it was full of linguistic gymnastics, legalese and total nonsense. One part read that since MacMillan had "a monopoly" on all its titles nothing could be done. MacMillan has as much of a monopoly on its titles as any farmer has on the seeds he/she has purchased.

In any case, there are lots of places that have dissected this issue with more intelligence and grace than I ever could. Check out Melville House's ideas here which are always reasoned. Second, take a look at something that my friend Melanie, from Hungry Mind days gone by, sent to me.

Even though we have no real desire to enter the e-fray at this point it does, obviously, concern us greatly. And while Amazon has become a much larger predator towards independent business in all fields it is good to see some people start to fight back.

1 comment:

  1. "Oh! what a tangled web we weave
    When first we practise to deceive!"
    ~Sir Walter Scott